As we are now officially entering Spring, please consider a flu vaccine if you have not already had one this year.
Late Winter and early Spring is the time when the Flu Virus is at its most prevalent. If you are planning to travel in the next four months a flu vaccine is an excellent idea.
Students heading into exam time do not need their study plans interrupted by a bout of flu.
In fact no one needs a bout of real flu, once experienced, never forgotten! We still have stock available for all age groups.
Stop the Spread of Germs that Make You and Others Sick… Cover Your Cough!
Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Unclean hands
To help stop the spread of germs:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands
- Put your used tissue in the waste basket
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing
- Wash with soap and water
- Clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner
Latest Travel Health Alerts (September 2018)
Below are the latest Travel Health Alerts for disease outbreaks in specific countries. If you are travelling please take the time to read about potential diseases in the countries you are visiting. In most cases, vaccinations and/or medications are available prior to travel to help combat some diseases. If you have any queries about travel-related health issues, please speak to your GP. If you are unsure what vaccinations you have had in the past and what injections are recommended for specific countries, please contact our Practice Nurses – Tanya, Susan and Karen.
Brazil: Amazon measles outbreak
Confirmed measles outbreak in the Amazonas capital Manaus.
Measles occurs in developing and developed countries and unvaccinated travellers are at particular risk, both in transit and during their stay. While measles is generally benign, infection can result in severe illness and occasionally death
There is a spike in German measles (rubella) this year in Tokyo and throughout the country.
Rubella is spread by airborne droplets and can cause serious birth defects if infection occurs during early pregnancy. Rubella is the ‘R’ component in the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, one of the routine immunisations in Australia which should be current for prior to overseas travel
Malaysia: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
Malaysia is experiencing an outbreak of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Parents of young children should be aware of that seasonal epidemics of HFMD occur throughout Asia. The virus mainly affects young children and symptoms include fever, oral lesions, and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. There is no vaccine or preventative medication, but good hand hygiene will greatly reduce the risk of infection.
United Kingdom: Measles
ONE important consideration for those travellers planning a trip to England and its capital – over one-third of all confirmed measles cases in England this year have occurred in London. The message from health authorities – it’s never too late for unvaccinated children and adults to have the 2-dose MMR vaccine
(Travelvax Newsletters August 2018)
(Centers For Disease Control – CDC)
(World Health Organisation – WHO)
Prescription Medication and Overseas Travel
If you are planning a trip overseas, organising your medicine is one of the most important things you can do. If you require prescription medicine, it is important you have this medicine with you so you remain in good health while you are away.
It is illegal to take prescription medicines out of Australia unless the medicine is for your personal use, or the personal use of someone travelling with you.
If you are planning to take prescription medicines overseas for your own personal use or the personal use of someone in your care who is travelling with you:
- read the travel advice and check with the embassies of the countries you’re visiting to make sure your medicine is legal there
- carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you’ll be taking and stating the medicine is for your personal use or the personal use of someone with you (for example, a child)
- leave the medicine in its original packaging so it can be easily identified.
Our “ War on Waste”
Although we cannot accept your waste items to re-cycle, we encourage everyone to “join the war”.
As we all need to take care of our environment we are implementing a number of recycling schemes in our clinic to do our bit to help.
We of course recycle as many paper products that we are able to.
We have begun recycling our Nespresso capsules. Did you know Nespresso has many drop off points where you can recycle your coffee pods. Both the coffee grounds and container are recycled. The closest location to the clinic that we know of is:
Bud Flowers 1016 High Street, Armadale
We have been recycling our batteries for a while. Batteries can be recycled at Aldi and IKEA stores.
We have just started a compost collection. This will be taken home by one of our nurses to add to her large compost bin at home to keep the garden thriving. We even make snazzy liners out of newspaper to line our little bin.
We put side any out of date medical supplies and send them to a variety of charities for use primarily in third world countries. A charity we have come across; Airborne Aid match up travellers with medical supplies available and areas that need supplies to send them in any unused space in their suitcase.
My Health Record …? Opt In / Opt Out?
The My Health Record is intended to assist Health Care Providers to be able to access important information about a patient.
The information contained in your My Health Record is accessible to patients as well as their health care providers. Patients can take control over their Health Care Record and may choose to remove certain documents that they do not wish to have included. Patients can also limit who can access their information.
We believe this is a positive initiative from the Federal Government and suggest patients make themselves familiar with this opportunity and then decide if they wish to have a “ My Health Record”.
At 15 October 2018 all patients who have not opted out will have a MHR created. Opting out remains available after this date
If after considering the pros & cons any patient who wishes to Opt Out of the MHR can phone:
1800 723 471
Melbourne experienced the world’s largest epidemic thunderstorm asthma event on 21 November 2016, with thousands of people developing breathing difficulties in a very short period of time. If you have asthma or hay fever, find out how you can prepare for the grass pollen season and help protect yourself from the risk of thunderstorm asthma.
What is thunderstorm asthma?
During grass pollen season people may notice an increase in asthma and hay fever. Grass pollen season (October through December) also brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma.
Thunderstorm asthma is thought to be triggered by a unique combination of high amounts of grass pollen in the air and a certain type of thunderstorm. For people who have asthma or hay fever this can trigger severe asthma symptoms.
When a large number of people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, related to high grass pollen and a certain type of thunderstorm, it is known as epidemic thunderstorm asthma.
Emergency or crisis support for carers
- Having an emergency care plan will mean you are prepared with instructions in case of an emergency or crisis.
- Advance care planning involves thinking about what types of healthcare the person you care for may or may not wish to receive in different situations.
- If you are unable to look after someone for a while, there are emergency respite services available.
- If you think the person you care for is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call triple zero (000).
- For 24-hour medical advice over the phone, call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 to speak to a registered nurse.
The best way to deal with a crisis or emergency is to be prepared for one. This means having a plan that you (or the person you care for) can action in the case of an emergency or crisis. If you do not have a plan in place, it is good to know about the emergency and crisis supports you can call on to help.
In moments of crisis, many people find it hard to think clearly. That’s why it is a good idea to plan ahead when things are calmer and you have the chance to consider all options. Writing your plans down is a good way to make sure you and others involved in the person’s life will know what to do in an emergency. It is a way of making sure the person’s care needs and treatment preferences are respected if you are not available to advocate for them.
Emergency care plans
An emergency care plan is a set of instructions about caring for someone in the event that you are not able to. Having such a plan in place will assure you, and the person you care for, that there will be somebody there with clear instructions about what to do.
Emergency care plans cover areas such as emergency contacts, health information, what care is required and information about the person’s medication.
The Australian Government has created a template for developing an emergency care plan. Visit the Department of Social Services website to download your free copy.
When creating the emergency care plan:
- Think about the best people to care for the person if you cannot, and ask if they are willing to be an emergency contact. Your ‘stand ins’ need to understand and accept the commitment they are taking on. Make sure they are clear about the tasks they would be expected to perform in your absence.
- Make sure each of your emergency contacts has a copy of the plan. Discuss the plan with them so you can rest assured they understand what is required.
- Keep your copy of the plan in a safe but easy-to-find place.
- Update your plan yearly or whenever there are significant changes to your caring situation.
Advance care planning
There may come a time where the person you care for can no longer communicate their needs or wishes. This might be a temporary or permanent situation. It is therefore a good idea to get some paperwork in place that will allow you to speak and make decisions on their behalf.
Advance care planning involves thinking about what types of healthcare the person you care for may or may not wish to receive in different situations. Talk to the person and make sure you understand how they want to be treated. Write this down so everyone involved is clear about the person’s wishes.
Make sure the person’s doctor has a copy of this plan and also send a copy to the hospital the person visits most regularly. Ask for it to be included in their medical record.
In some instances, the person may wish to complete a Refusal of Treatment Certificate if they wish to refuse treatment related to a specific illness they have. Your doctor needs to help you to complete this form.
You can also ask for help from a lawyer to draw up an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment). This is a legally binding document that assigns you permission to make medical decisions on the person’s behalf in the event that they are unable to.
Your Skin & Wrinkles
Lifestyle has a major effect on the skin’s tendency to wrinkle. Sun exposure and smoking are the most common causes of premature skin wrinkling. If you limit sun exposure and avoid smoking, you can reduce the amount of wrinkles you develop.
Wrinkles and age
Elastin and collagen fibres give the skin suppleness and strength. The numbers of these fibres in the skin are reduced as we age, causing wrinkles. Our skin has a layer of fat just below the surface (subcutaneous layer), which gives form and structure. This layer of fat thins out as we age, causing the skin to sag.
Wrinkles and sun exposure
Sun exposure is the most common cause of skin damage and wrinkling. Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight causes changes to the skin. In addition to fine lines and wrinkles, UV damage causes brown spots and pigment irregularity, as well as broken capillaries and red blotches. All of these changes make the skin look older.
UV rays prompt the formation of free radicals within the skin, which damage elastin fibres in the skin, and contribute to wrinkling and skin cancer. People with fair skin have less protection against UV-induced skin changes and tend to develop more wrinkles than people with dark skin.
The best way to prevent wrinkling caused by sun exposure is to:
- Wear protective clothing.
- Avoid the sun around the middle of the day.
- Use sunscreen for the parts of skin that can’t be protected by clothing.
Smoking and wrinkles
As well as all the other health risks associated with smoking, smokers will have more wrinkles. These changes may not show up till you are in your 30’s or 40’s. Fine lines around the mouth are most common. Research has shown that people who have never smoked have less wrinkles than smokers.
Typhoon Shelter Salmon
1 cup vegetable oil
3 heads garlic, cloves peeled and finely chopped
4 salmon fillets, scaled
salt and pepper, to season
8 spring onions
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
1 tbsp salted black beans (available from Asian grocery stores or some supermarkets)
a good pinch of sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed picked coriander leaves
Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat and add the garlic. Cook the garlic for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly until it is lightly golden brown and then remove the garlic from the oil with a wire mesh. Reserve both the fried garlic and the garlic oil.
Heat your oven to 200C. Place the salmon fillets skin-down on a layer of baking paper on baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the baking paper with the salmon still on top directly to a serving plate.
While the salmon is cooking heat 2-3 tablespoons of the garlic oil in the wok (reserve any leftover garlic oil for another purpose) and add the spring onions and chillies. Toss for about a minute until the spring onions start to soften then sprinkle over the sugar and toss for a further minute. Pour the mixture over the salmon, then scatter the garlic and coriander leaves on top and serve immediately.