Leg cramps.

icyhotpatchpainLeg cramp is a pain in the leg, which can happen suddenly and is caused by a shortening of the muscle in the leg. Leg cramps can occur in the feet and thighs but most commonly occur in the calf muscle.

During a leg cramp the muscle will become painful and tight. The toes and feet may also become stiff. Cramp can last seconds and up to 10 minutes.

Causes of leg cramp include – abnormal nerve activity, or strain during exercise. Other cause can include infection, pregnancy and dehydration.

Medical assistance is not usually needed for leg cramps.

Call your GP or 111 if:

  • If leg cramps are affecting your day to day life.
  • Last longer than 10 minute.
  • The cramp is a result of coming into contact with a poisonous or toxic substance.

Kneecap dislocation.

When the knee moves in a different direction to the leg, dislocation of the kneecap can occur. Kneecap dislocation is not common and is usually associated with sports injuries.

Signs of a dislocation of the knee will be a deformity of the knee, the casualty will also be in a lot of pain and they will struggle to walk. A crack may have also been heard, when the knee came out of the joint.

A first dislocation should be treated quickly and treated by medical staff. This type of injury can take up to six weeks to heal. Keep the leg, outstretched and as still as possible, call 999. Don’t pick the casualty up yourself as this may cause more damage.

Kneecap Dislocation

Jet lag


After a long flight you may feel tired and confused this is a sign of Jet lag. Your body can’t adjust to the new time zone and the longer the flight the worse the Jet lag. Jetlag can affect the body in many ways such as body temperature, blood pressure, and your appetite and toilet habits.

Jet lag is not serious and will settle after a few days.

To treat Jetlag, avoid napping as soon as you arrive at your destination wait until bedtime to sleep, and spend some time in the sun.

To prevent Jetlag drink plenty of fluids (not alcohol) and take small naps on the plane.


Ingrown toenails.

Painful, swollen and tender toes, caused by the toe nail curling and piercing the sides of the toe. Signs of ingrowing toenails include pain on touching the toes, a build-up of fluid around the area and swelling of the toe. The ingrown toenail may also cause bleeding and infection.

To treat an ingrown toenail, wash and dry the feet properly and cut nails in a straight line, if possible use a cotton bud to gently move the skin away from the toe and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Prevention is better, than cure when it comes to an ingrown toenail and prevention includes good foot hygiene, cutting the nails correctly and wear well fitted shoes. If the ingrown toenail becomes infected, see your GP or a podiatrist.

Insect bites and stings.


Usually not serious but can be painful and are very common. Signs of insect bites include red, swollen and itchy skin, the insect may leave a hole in the skin, as a defence some insects will inject venom. If the insects have injected venom the bite will look swollen, may become itchy and leave a red mark which fills with fluid.

Stings can be treated at home, if the sting is visible, you can scrape the sting out with a bank card. DO NOT use tweezers as you might pop the venom sac and spread the toxins. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. Bites can be treated at home to, wash the affected area with soap and water; apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and any pain. Try not to scratch.

Insect bites and stings are usually not serious, but if you are someone else who was bitten or stung starts having breathing difficulties or severe swelling. Ring 999 straight away. (See Anaphylactic shock for more information) B - Bee Sting


When someone is bleeding heavily, the main propriety of first aid is to stop the bleeding and reduce the effects of shock. Some injuries can bleed profusely, where a varicose vein is damaged, the blood pours from the injury very quickly. Where an artery has been cut, blood can spurt from the injury in time with the heart beating.

First, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.

If you have disposable gloves, use them to reduce the risk of any infection being passed on. Remember the casualty may be able to apply pressure to an injury themselves.

Check that there is nothing embedded in the wound. If there is, don’t press directly onto the injury with your dressing, instead press around the sides of the object and build up padding around the object before applying a bandage.

If there is nothing in the injury, apply and maintain pressure directly onto the wound with your hand, using a sterile pad if possible.
• Use a clean dressing to bandage the wound firmly.
• Raise the limb to decrease the flow of blood.
• Ensure your bandage is not too tight, loosen it by unwinding it a couple of turns if the area begins to tingle or go cold
• If bleeding continues through the bandage, apply another pad over the top and bandage it in place. Do not remove the original pad or bandage.


Grazes are a very common minor, non-life threatening injury that we have all suffered particularly during our childhood, as long as they are cleaned thoroughly and kept clean they won’t cause any health problems.

Most grazes are minor and can be easily treated at home and without medical intervention.
Bleeding from these injuries is usually minor and your priority should be to clean the area thoroughly.
Once the area is clean, apply a plaster or a non-adhesive dressing to the area and keep it dry and clean.
If the graze is bleeding heavily or is on a particularly delicate area of your body, such as the palm of your hand, you should stop the bleeding before applying any kind of dressing. Apply pressure to the area using a bandage or a clean towel.

To dress a graze at home:
• wash and dry your hands thoroughly
• clean the wound under running tap water, but do not use antiseptic because it may damage the tissue and slow down healing
• pat the area dry with a clean towel
• apply a sterile adhesive dressing, such as a plaster
Keep the dressing clean by changing it as often as necessary. Keep the wound dry by using waterproof dressings, which will allow you to take showers.

The part of the brain that controls temperature doe not fully develop in a child until around the age of four. Unfortunately this means that when a child under four develops a temperature (above 38 ⁰C) whilst unwell their core temperature may rise rapidly and significantly, this may lead to seizures. These seizure are called Febrile convulsions.

Febrile convulsions are most common in children between the ages of one and four but can occur anywhere between six months and six years old.

The use of Paracetamol and ibuprofen at the correct dose works well to manage a temperature


  • → Protect the child from injury during the seizure but do not restrain them
  • → Remove clothing, down to nappy or knickers is best and air the room to cool the area that they are in if needed but don’t make them cold.
  • → When the seizure stops check that normal breathing has resumed
  • → When breathing normally place the child into the recovery position or support them on their side until they become fully conscious
  • → Call for help


Fainting is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness that usually results in a fall. Healthcare professionals often use the term ‘syncope’ when referring to fainting because it distinguishes fainting from other causes of temporary unconsciousness, such as seizures (fits) or concussion.

In most cases of fainting, the person who has fainted regains consciousness within a minute or two.

Causes of fainting:

  • → Standing still for a long time
  • → Emotional stress
  • → Over heating
  • → Low blood pressure
  • → Dehydration
  • → Being generally unwell
  • → Diarrhoea & vomiting


Just before fainting they may have the following symptoms:

  • → Yawning
  • → A sudden, clammy sweat
  • → Nausea (feeling sick)
  • → Fast, deep breathing
  • → Confusion
  • → Feeling light-headed
  • → Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
  • → Ringing in your ears

Once the person has collapsed the head is on the same level as the heart, this corrects the temporary lack of blood to the brain and results in the person regaining consciousness quickly.


If you feel faint, someone complains of feeling faint, they should lie down and if possible raise the legs a little.  If it’s not possible to lie down then sitting down with the head between the knees will help. You can assist a person to the floor or into a chair.

If a person faints and does not regain consciousness within one or two minutes, you should put them into the recovery position. If the person faints and hurt themselves or doesn’t seem to be improving you should monitor their condition and ring 999 for an ambulance.