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Where When How Summer 2017 : Page 23

YOUR HEALTH IN THE TURKS & CAICOS SUNBURN Sunburn is a very common skin complaint here in the islands, usually seen in the first two days of your vacation. Beware of the windy, sunny days -the wind keeps you cool and you do not realise how much you are burning. Tell the person next to you if they are getting sun burnt. Always use sun-screen, several times a day. Wear a hat, especially around midday “From ten to two a T-shirt will do!” If you do get sun burnt apply Hydrocortisone cream every two or three hours, which can be picked up from any pharmacy. If the skin blisters or is very painful -visit the doctor -a burn is a burn! DOG BITES The Turks & Caicos Islands is an interna-tionally recognised ‘Rabies Free’ country. Unfortunately we do have roaming, unowned dogs in areas of Providenciales. If you are bitten by a dog, you may require a Tetanus shot. A few simple precautions could prevent the bite from happening at all. If you meet a strange dog(s) do not make eye contact with the animal, because in dog speak, that is a threatening action. Cross your arms over your chest and back away from the dog. Move confi-dently. Do not turn your back on the dog, and do not run. WATER AND DEHYDRATION Drink, drink, drink, as much fluid as you can. Encourage the children to drink, espe-cially early in the day. You need to drink as much fluid as possible: water, juices, sodas. You also need to replace salt: drink elec-trolyte drinks, use extra salt on food, eat salt crackers -especially if exercising or playing out on the beach or the golf course. Your usual daily fluid intake at home will not be sufficient here in the warm sun. Bottled water is recommended. DINING AILMENTS Diarrhea and vomiting do occur on vaca-tion, whether it be visitors coming to the islands or Islanders visiting the mainland. If you are cooking, wash your fruits and vegetables in drinkable water. Avoid food that has been left out of refrigeration for a long time. Avoid undercooked meats. If severe vomiting and/or abdominal cramps occur, seek medical help early. Mild cases can be treated with plenty of electrolyte fluids and Tylenol. INSECT BITES There are no life threatening insects on the island. The snakes are not poisonous. Mosquitoes and sand flies (no see ‘ems) annoy people the most. Cover the skin after 4 pm or spray with insect repellent. Most restaurants will provide a repellent you can spray under the table. If the bites become itchy then apply Hydrocortisone cream every two hours. Scorpions, cen-tipedes and spiders can be found, their bite may be painful, but it will not kill you. If in doubt -seek medical help. JELLY FISH Avoid swimming with jellyfish, the small thimble size ones may be hard to spot in the sea. If you do, you may notice a little prickling, especially under bathing suits and in hairy areas. Later, each prickle will develop a red itchy spot. As soon as you can, wash the rash with shampoo (prefer-ably with warm salty water), then apply Hydrocortisone cream every two hours. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS The pharmacies on island carry a wide range of drugs. Bring your own prescrip-tions in two separate bags so if one is lost you still have enough medicine with you. Most pharmacies will accept faxed pre-scriptions from your doctor at home. If you cannot reach your doctor then the island doctors will help you replace your medication. If the exact drug is not avail-able, a close substitute will be found. EMERGENCIES We hope you don’t have serious medical problems while vacationing, but if you do then telephone the doctor immediately. We are capable of stabilising medical emergencies and transferring the patient by air-ambulance to a hospital in Florida. Visitors would be well advised to check, before they leave home, that their medical or travel insurance covers them for air-ambulance repatriation costs. The doc-tors will make house or hotel calls if requested -even at night -for serious or painful cases. I By Dr Steve Bourne O.B.E. A fully licensed, British trained physician who worked in the Royal Navy, on the Queen Elizabeth 2, in Saudi Arabia and Ireland before settling here over 20 years ago. He is currently working with Associated Medical Practices MEDICAL SERVICES &#1a; EMERGENCY &#1a; DOCTOR ON CALL 24/7 : 432-2111 DR EUAN A.D. MENZIES MBBS (London) MRCP (UK) DR STEVE BOURNE OBE, MBBS, MRCGP 231-0000 DR FRANCOIS BOURNE MBBS (UWI) 331-0355 ASSOCIATED MEDICAL PRACTICES Medical Building, Leeward Highway, Providenciales APPOINTMENTS CALL 946.4242 W W W. D O C T O R S TC I . C O M • • • • • 23 Visit the Turks & Caicos Islands at SUMMER 2017

Emergency Medical Services

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