Talk about the town

Health tips for Berry visitors and holidaymakers

04 Oct 2013

While thrill-seekers may find a trip to Berry somewhat sedate when compared with mountaineering, any holiday can be marred by medical mishaps. Some might even say that a family holiday without them meant you simply weren’t enjoying yourself enough!

Ross Hobson’s Berry Pharmacy is well know to locals as the friendly shop that is open every single day of the week (including 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on weekends). It has, over the years, also become familiar to many out-of-town visitors and holidaymakers who sometimes end up there with a problem.

Here are four tips for visitors so that, with some help from Ross and his friendly staff at the pharmacy, you can minimise the mishaps.

Tip #1 – Bring your medication! (but if you forget, just drop into the pharmacy)

Forgot to bring your medication? Happens all the time! Fortunately, modern communications makes this relatively easy to fix. The pharmacy is more than happy to contact your doctor or pharmacy and arrange to have scripts faxed through so medication can be supplied to you from pharmacy stocks.

Tip #2 – Disinfect cuts ASAP

Got a cut on your feet while wading on a rock pool at one of the local beaches? Fell off your bike and scraped your leg?

Cuts inflicted underwater can become infected extremely quickly due to rapidly multiplying marine bacteria, and these need to be cared for as soon as practicable. The pharmacy has a wide range appropriate bandages and disinfectants for all cuts and grazes, and staff can advise you on the best way to look after them.

Tip #3 – Take care with ticks

Another reason why visitors frequently turn up at the pharmacy is ticks – ranging from quite large to extremely small. Whatever the size, there are some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ with ticks.

Ticks must be removed with care or there can be unpleasant after effects. Usually someone at the pharmacy has expertise in tick removal. It’s not just a matter of yanking ticks out. Staff put a little bit of methylated spirits on the tick, not to try to kill it but to annoy it so that it is more amenable to ‘backing out’. Then, the trick with tweezers is to hold onto it firmly enough so the it wont slide out of the tweezers but not so firmly as to crush it, and then you pull the tick ACROSS the skin. Don’t try to pull it out at a 90-degree angle because the head may break off: the pincers slide out much more easily at an oblique angle.

Ross explains: “If people don’t touch them [ticks], but leave them alone and come into the pharmacy and let us do it properly … ticks are much easier to get out if they’re whole. If the body is missing and the head is still in the skin, it’s going to cause discomfort and, possibly, inflammation for several days. Perhaps we will give an antihistamine if the wound is inflamed, and we’ve got a product called ‘Soothe’, which is 3% lignocaine (a topical anaesthetic) to stop the irritation.

Tip #4 – Save the emergency department for serious mishaps!

Ross explains: “People must remember that at holiday times and during summer our local hospital emergency department is terribly busy. People should realise that it’s an accident and emergency department, and if it’s not an accident or an emergency that you’re there for, you may spend five hours or so moving backwards in a queue due to triage. Don’t go there with relatively minor complaints. The pharmacy has a broad range of dressings that can deal with most bandaging jobs and many different antiseptics and creams for soothing scrapes and wounds. And you can get professional advice to put your mind at rest.

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