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Level 2 heat wave alert prompts health warning

Health leaders are urging people in Nottinghamshire to extra care as the Met Office has issued a level 2 alert which is the official warning that high temperatures can pose a significant risk to health for elderly people and children.

Every year, accident and emergency departments are filled with people who have been affected by the hot weather – particularly those with heart conditions and respiratory problems so commissioners are urging people to take all precautions possible to avoid ending up in A&E.

Commissioners are reminding patients how best to stay well in the hot weather, how to treat the common ailments such as allergies, stings and bites and how to stay safe in the sun – and avoid an unnecessary visit to hospital.

Dr Paul Oliver, clinical Lead for NHS Nottingham North & East Clinical Commissioning Group said: “High temperatures can pose a real risk to vulnerable people so it is important that people keep an eye on frail elderly family and those with heart and respiratory conditions during periods of hot weather. Each year we issue guidance and warnings about staying well in the hot weather – yet each year our accident and emergency departments continue to see people who simply don’t need to be there and could have treated themselves or got advice from a pharmacist or by ringing the NHS 111 help line number.”

“Having stocks of high factor sun protection is crucial – especially for young children and keeping well hydrated, avoiding the sun at the hottest part of the day and avoiding excessive alcohol; are all important to stay well in hot weather.

“Skin problems such as insect bites and stings are very common and usually only cause minor irritation. Most can be treated at home following some basic tips which will help to improve symptoms. In rare cases, some stings can be painful and trigger a serious allergic reaction, so if you see lots of swelling and blistering or if there’s pus, which indicates an infection, you should visit your GP or call NHS 111 for expert advice over the phone. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it can also advise you where to go if you do need medical attention.”

For more information about staying well in the hot weather and treating bites and stings visit www.nhs.uk

ENDS

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