A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Wounds: Wounds include cuts, scrapes, scratches and punctured skin. They often occur as a result of an accident or injury. Surgical incisions, sutures and stitches also cause wounds. Minor wounds usually are not serious but all cuts and scrapes require care.

A plaster or larger dressing is usually all that is needed to stop a wound bleeding. However, you might need to apply pressure to the area, and if an arm or leg is affected, you should raise it above heart level.
Before putting on a plaster or other dressing, you will need to clean the wound. Follow the steps below to ensure that it does not become infected:
-   Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
-   If you have any cuts on your own hands, you should cover them and wear disposable gloves. 
-   If treating someone else tell them what you are doing.
-   Make sure that the person is sitting or lying down.
-   If the wound has something embedded in it, leave it in place until you seek medical advice.
-  Clean the wound under running tap water, or use an alcohol-free wipe.
-  Do not use antiseptic to clean the wound because it may damage the skin.
-  Gently pat the area dry using a clean towel.
-  Apply a sterile dressing, such as a bandage or plaster.

It is very important to check that you are up to date with your tetanus jabs if your skin is broken in an injury or if you are bitten. You will be given a booster jab if your doctor thinks that you need one.

You should seek immediate professional medical attention:  if the wound is deep; if you cannot stop the bleeding; if you cannot get theobject/ dirt out; if the wound does not heal; or if the wound was caused by a bite.


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

Health Issues

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UK-based trade group the Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) has written a formal letter of complaint to the BBC about a controversial BBC2 Horizon programme about the food supplements industry.