Make sure Christmas goes to script

SOME simple planning ahead for the festive season can avoid lengthy waits in the emergency department of Orange hospital for minor ailments.

Director of nursing at Orange hospital Sue Patterson said stocking up on the medical basics over the festive season when general practitioners may not be working and pharmacies are closed is just commonsense.

“It is a good idea to check when your pharmacy is open and your general practitioner is on duty,” she said.

Ms Patterson said the staff at the emergency department over previous festive seasons have commonly treated sunburn and dehydration.

“It is important to think ahead and protect yourself properly from the sun with the slip, slop slap message and drink plenty of water,” she said.

Ms Patterson said parents are encouraged to stock up on childhood medications from pharmacies.

“It is a good idea if you are on prescription medication to check you have sufficient to get you through the times when pharmacies aren’t open and your general practitioner isn’t available,” she said.

“Of course we will have the same highly trained staff on duty as we always have, but by thinking ahead can save hours of waiting in the emergency department,” she said.

Ms Patterson said recent statistics released about the performance of Orange hospital supported its status as an acute care hospital, with urgent cases such as heart attack and stroke being treated quicker than at other hospitals across the state.

 “It is always a good idea at this time of year to keep anti-diarrhoea medication and electrolyte replacements drinks on hand as well,” she said.

Over Christmas and new year Ms Patterson said staff are always surprised by the number of injuries suffered by adults who are trying out their children’s Christmas gifts and suffer injuries in the process.

If you experience a medical emergency over the festive season call triple-0.

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