Collins Avenue Medical Center,
138 Collins Avenue,
Dublin 9.

Tel : 8328692 | Email: info@collinsavegp.ie

Easter Opening Hours

Dr McEvoys Surgery will close on Thursday 17th April and will re-open Tuesday 22nd April

 

 If you need a Doctor urgently please telephone 

 D.Doc -1850 22 44 77

 

Dr. McEvoy and Staff would like to wish our Patients a Happy Easter

April - Get Active!

The evenings are stretching out and for many, training for the Woman’s Mini Marathon is getting under way.  If you haven’t yet dusted off your runners there is no better time to get active.

We should all get at least 30 minutes physical activity most days of the week, on top of our usual daily chores.  Walking is a great way to start, swimming provides exercise while protecting sore hips, knees or backs and heavy housework and gardening count too!

Variety is the key to sustaining exercise habits so why not take up a new activity today.  At this time of year there is one more term of classes before the break for the summer.  So do check out your local communities / parish centres or websites to see what classes are on offer.

www.dcyc.ie

www.killester.dublindiocese.ie

www.stanthonysclontarf.dublindiocese.ie

 

There is new evidence that demonstrates that even if you are overweight but active, that improves your health outcomes immensely.  So, do not let the fact that you are overweight cloud your views on the benefits of becoming a little fitter.  It is in small steps that there is progress, one begins to enjoy exercise and the “feel good factor” encourages us to do a little more.

As the summer looms improving your activity level will have the added impact on your children.  We are all aware that children who are active are easier to deal with, happier in themselves and as a result there is more happiness in your life.

www.getirelandactive.ie

www.parentsforhealth.org

 

Men’s Health

To all the Men out there – when was the last time your body had its own ‘NCT’? If you have not had a check up for some time, have noticed a new symptom that you may have been ignoring or simply want to get fitter this year, why not start into spring with a check up by your doctor.

Women in Ireland are still outliving their male counterparts by a whopping 5 years. Part of the reason is they are more pro-active about visiting the doctor when they have a health worry.

Naturally some men can find attending the doctor with certain symptoms embarrassing such as problems with passing urine or changes in their bowels but these are the very things that need to been seen early so that in most cases simple tests or reassurance can be provided.

Men continue to suffer from more heart disease than women and our busy, stressful lives can often leave little time for healthy eating or exercise. There are lots of simple things that you can do to lower your risk of developing heart disease in the future. Most of these relate to making small changes to your lifestyle, eating and exercise habits which can have health benefits for all the family. If you don’t know where to start why not see your doctor for advice.                           

 Men can find talking about stress, feelings of depression or loneliness difficult – however a problem shared is truly a problem halved and a visit to your GP can be the simplest starting point to readdress the balance in your life.

 

Alzheimers/Dementia – support for carers

Are you caring for a loved one with dementia? The fantastic and often unseen work of thousands of carers in Ireland allow many of those suffering with dementia to live at home for as long as possible in with dignity in a caring and supportive environment.

This however can be draining both physically and emotionally for their carers who often have feel they have no one themselves to turn to when things become too much to bear.

Please do not hesitate to see your GP should you need help and support in this role or if you have concerns that you or a loved one may be showing symptoms of forgetfulness or behaviour that is out of character.

There are many community and medical supports available of which you may be unaware and can be organised through your GP or Primary care team. Also, information and support can be accessed via the Alzheimer Society of Ireland which has links to many home services, respite and local support groups that carers can access www.alzheimer.ie

 Care of the Elderly

At this time of year it is especially important to think of our elderly friends and neighbours.
Winter can be long and lonely even for those with family around. Elderly people require warmth and regular hot meals to keep safe during the colder months and may need support to get their groceries or medication when inclement weather or ice may make it difficult to brave the outdoors.

Many older people have a fear of falling if they venture out leaving them isolated in their homes and so may miss their usual company and routine.
Should you or a loved one need extra help or support from the many community services available please to not hesitate to contact your doctor or Public Health nurse for advice.
Prepare well for the winter including an early health check-up and ensure that all vaccinations including the annual influenza vaccine are up to date.

When at home keep heating on, always wear warm layer. Get up and walk around the house at least every hour for a few minutes to keep circulation going and muscles strong. Have regular warm drinks and meals.

The following websites have lots of helpful information and useful contacts www.ageaction.ie    www.friendsoftheelderly.ie

 

KEEP YOUR BABY WELL AND HAPPY

 

KEEP YOUR BABY WELL AND HAPPY

 

YOUR BABY IS ENTITLED TO THE FOLLOWING LIST OF APPOINTMENTS FREE OF CHARGE

EACH TIME YOU ATTEND AN APPOINTMENT MAKE SURE YOUR CHILDS HEALTH RECORD BOOK IS COMPLETED

Age                                 Health Check

2 Weeks                          Check-up with GP (under combined care scheme)

6 Weeks                          Examination with GP (under combined care scheme)

2 Months                        Vaccination with Practice nurse

3 Months                        Developmental check, Local Health Centre

4 Months                        Vaccination with Practice Nurse

6 Months                        Vaccination with Practice Nurse

7-9 Months                     Developmental Check, Local Health Centre

12 Months                      Vaccination with Practice Nurse

13 Months                      Vaccination with Practice Nurse

18 Months                      Developmental Check, Local Health Centre

2 Years                           Developmental Check, Local Health Centre

3 Years                           Developmental Check, Local Health Centre

5 years                           School Booster Vaccinations with Practice Nurse

 

 

Men’s Health

We have recently done a publicity campaign for Men’s Health Week in mid June and I would like to keep the message going over the summer months.

Unfortunately statistics would say that we are not as good at looking after our health as our wives, sisters and mothers.  Many explanations have been proposed for this from the flawed male characteristics of the stoic hunter gatherer who feels that going to get a health check is a sign of weakness, to the highly stressed executive who’s planning to get a check up “once things calm down in the office”.  We all do it – put things on the long finger, but this does not change the harsh realities.

  1. Irish men die, on average almost 5 years younger than women.
  2. Men have higher death rates than women for all leading causes of death.
  3. Poor lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic disease.
  4. Late presentation to health services leads to a large number of problems becoming untreatable.

 Taking responsibility for our health is the first step towards altering these statistics.  Simple lifestyle alterations can reap huge rewards in terms of promoting wellbeing and avoiding potentially premature death.

Stopping smoking, healthier eating and regular exercise offers more benefit than any medications in avoiding heart disease and stroke.  Check out www.safefood.eu for information on healthy eating.

I run a Men’s Health Clinic in Collins Avenue which is aimed at 40 plus men who are interested in prolonging good health.  We focus on major men’s health issues including healthy lifestyle, stress, cardiovascular health and preventable cancer screening, as well as any specific health concerns men may have.  We offer screening bloods including cholesterol and prostate screening if appropriate.  Depending on the findings we will offer follow up as you put lifestyle interventions in place.

There’s never a better time to look after your health than right now.

                                                                                                         Dr. Kerry O’Connell

Mental Health

Many people find that the approaching cold winter evenings signify a difficult time of year for their mental health. Symptoms of depression, anxiety or difficulties with isolation or addiction can occur to anyone at any time of their life and it is often difficult to know where to turn. Bullying, bereavement, loss of a job or coping with relationships or sexuality can all leave us feeling unable to cope. You may feel alone, embarrassed or that no one else could understand what you are going through – and therefore that no one can help.

Remember that up to 25% of people in Ireland will experience mental ill-health at some stage in their lives – that’s one in four people. With a problem that common you are certainly not alone. However a real barrier does remain in people feeling they can tell others of their problems without fear of being looked on differently by family, friends or employers.

So where can you start?

 First of all look after your own mental health. Stay active, build relationships and interests, talk about your feelings and take time out from work to relax. Avoid using drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with life’s stresses.

Look out for your friends and family. Be aware of signs that someone may be in difficulty such as withdrawing from their social life of friends, irritable or unpredictable behaviour or moods, physical changes such as loss of energy, appetite or poor sleep.

If you or a loved one needs help – talk to someone you trust, see your GP or counsellor. Reach out to one of the many support agencies working for mental health in Ireland – information and links can be found at www.yourmentalhealth.ie , www.letsomeoneknow.ie , www.spunout.ie

In case of emergency or crisis – please contact your GP, GP out-of- hours service, Emergency department or  The Samaritans  (1850 609090) www.pieta.ie (01 601 0000) or www.childline.ie

 

Flu Vaccine

The annual Influenza and Pneumonia vaccine will be available this month from your GP

Who should get the vaccine this year?

Vaccination is strongly recommended for - 

  • Persons aged 65 and over,
  • Those with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart or lung disease,
  • People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment,
  • Persons with a body mass index (BMI) over 40,
  • Pregnant women (can be given at any stage of pregnancy),
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions,
  • Healthcare workers,
  • Carers,
  • People with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs

 It is recommended that all “at risk groups” receive an annual flu vaccination.

  • Information Leaflet on the Winter Flu Vaccine 2012 -2013. Available here.

 

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Vomiting and Diarrhoea (V+D) is one of the most common illnesses seen in infants and young children. The vast majority of cases (>80%) are caused by a viral infection (viral gastroenteritis) and settle without any treatment within 48hrs. Most viral gastroenteritis occurs in winter and spring but it can happen any time of the year and nearly all children will have had this bug by the time they are 5 years old. The virus that causes gastroenteritis is very contagious and can passed very easily from person to person.

The biggest risk to a child with V+D if that they aren’t holding in enough fluids and become dehydrated.

Gastroenteritis usually starts suddenly and as well as V + D the patient may have crampy stomach pains, often before a bout of diarrhoea or vomiting, they may also have a temperature.

Vomiting can also be a symptom of other illnesses but these are all much less common than gastroenteritis, these include;

Gastro-oesophageal reflux (common) – Vomiting typically after feeds due to a weak stomach muscle, baby can be cranky but otherwise well, babies usually grow out of this without any treatment.

Appendicitis – child usually has constant tummy pain which gets worse.

Blocked intestine – Tummy pain and vomit is ‘grass green’ colour.

Pyloric stenosis – Very forceful vomiting in baby <3months old.

Urine InfectionVomiting, tummy pain, high temp and sometimes pain passing urine.

Meningitis (rare) – Vomiting, fever, lethargy, very irritable, spots that don’t fade when pressed.

Treatment of Gastro-enteritis

There is no cure for gastroenteritis and the bug generally passes within 48hours. The illness can go on for a week or more but the main objective is to keep the child hydrated with regular fluids.

The best fluids to rehydrate a child are oral rehydration solution (dioralyte) – it contains the perfect balance of salts and glucose to rehydrate a child. Other drinks i.e. 7up have a sugar content which is too high and they can actually make diarrhoea worse. Start rehydration giving small sips or a spoonful every 10-15mins for the first 4-6 hours. You can also freeze it and make it into ice pops. If you can’t get dioralyte you can dilute 7up to half strength with water.

After 6 hours you can try some soft food or milk – if they vomit up the food keep them on the dioralyte for 24 hours.

After 24 hours you should return to normal diet even if diarrhoea continues, prolonged starvation can actually make diarrhoea last longer. Diarrhoea may last up to 2 weeks. Child should be kept off school till diarrhoea settles as they re infectious.

There is no role for antibiotics in gastroenteritis, we do not give kids medications to stop diarrhoea.

Dehydration – is the main risk in gastroenteritis. The signs that indicate dehydration include, dry lips and tongue, pallor, lethargy, not wetting nappies, fast heartbeat. If your child develops these symptoms they should come to see the doctor.

The above information is general guidance about vomiting and diarrhoea in children, if your child develops any of the features underlined or if they are less than 6 months old I would be advising to come to see the doctor. Needless to say if you are worried about your child with vomiting and diarrhoea we would be happy to see them at any time.

Winter Initiative for Asthma

Here in Dr. McEvoys Surgery, we are keen that our asthma patients have the best possible care. We run an asthma service overseen by our Practice Nurse Mary Llewellyn

We recommend that all our patients have

  • Annual asthma reviews,
  • Asthma management plan
  • Spirometry Testing.

Stay well this Winter

People with asthma often find that chest infections, sudden changes in temperature, and cold or windy conditions can trigger their symptoms and these can cause problems during the autumn and winter months.

The general objective of our asthma care is to ensure that you maintain optimal control of your asthma. Our advice to you is:

  1. Keep taking your regular medication as prescribed; this is especially important during the winter months when primary asthma triggers like airborne viruses and air pollution are prevalent.
  2. Discuss with us whether you should have the flu vaccine. We recommend you have the vaccine if you are over 65 years of age, if your asthma is moderate to severe or if you have had an asthma attack in the last year.
  3. If cold air triggers your asthma take two puffs of your reliever inhaler before going out.
  4. Wrap up well and wear a scarf over nose and mouth.
  5. Take extra care when exercising in cold weather. Warm up for 10-15 minutes. Take two puffs of your reliever inhaler before you start your exercise.

It is important that you have your own personal asthma management plan. This is a plan which should be completed by your Doctor or Asthma Nurse in discussion with you and contains the information you need to control your asthma. Winter time and coming into the winter months is a good opportunity to update and revise your personal asthma action plan.

This should include information about your: Asthma medications, signs of deterioration in your asthma and what you should do about it, emergency information and what to do if you have asthma attack.

What should I look out for?

  • Waking at night with coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or a tight chest
  • Increased shortness of breath on waking up in the morning
  • Needing more and more reliever treatment or reliever not working very well
  • Unable to continue your usual level of activity or exercise

Asthma Attack …………….The Five Minute Rule

The Five Minute Rule contains the recommended steps to follow in an asthma attack

  1. Ensure the reliever inhaler is taken immediately. This is usually blue and opens up narrowed air passages.
  2. Sit down and loosen tight clothing.
  3. Stay calm. Attacks may be frightening and it is important to stay calm.
  4. If there is no immediate improvement continue to take the reliever inhaler every minute for five minutes or until symptoms improve: two puffs if MDI/evohaler or one puff if turbohaler.
  5. If symptoms do not improve in five minutes, or if you are in doubt, call 999 or a doctor urgently. Continue to give reliever inhaler until help arrives or symptoms improve.

Do not be afraid of causing a fuss, even at night.  To get your Asthma Attack card contact the Asthma Society of Ireland or log onto www.asthmasociety.ie