Are you winter ready?

By June Shannon Heart News   |   10th Dec 2018

The HSE has created a winter checklist for people with chronic health conditions

More than 60 per cent of people aged over 50 in Ireland are living with a chronic health condition leaving them more vulnerable to infection. Therefore, it is vital that these people receive the flu and pneumonia vaccines, the HSE has said.

Speaking at the launch of the HSE’s Winter Plan 2018/2019 last week, Dr Vida Hamilton, HSE National Clinical Advisor Acute Hospitals said, “More than 60 per cent of people over 50 are living with a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart failure. They, along with patients living with cancer and immunosuppression, are more vulnerable to infection and need to protect themselves with vaccination against ‘flu and pneumonia. We know that 20 per cent of winter admissions are due to chest infections and prevention is always better than cure. Handwashing is vitally important as viruses can live for days on surfaces and our hands then bring the bugs to our faces, which can lead to winter vomiting or ‘flu. Every time you wash your hands you protect yourself.”

" We know that 20 per cent of winter admissions are due to chest infections and prevention is always better than cure,"

Dr Vida Hamilton, HSE National Clinical Advisor Acute Hospitals, HSE

The HSE has created a winter checklist for people with chronic health conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, COPD or asthma.

Winter Check List

Prevention is better than cure

If you haven’t already done so, get the flu vaccine.
Wash your hands regularly to avoid catching and spreading infection

Are you taking your medicines correctly?

Check with your pharmacist or your healthcare provider and make sure you have enough for the holiday period.

Are you using your devices correctly?

Use your devices correctly for monitoring and treatment. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider to check your technique.

Have a winter plan

Include the following in your winter plan:
• Monitor your wellness.
• If you are having an exacerbation, have a plan on how to intervene so that you can try and get control early, and be able to manage at home.
• Have a plan for when you need to see the doctor or go to the ED.
• If you are a care giver for someone with a chronic disease, know their winter plan, what medications to give, which not to and at what stage you get a medical review if the symptoms are getting worse despite your care.

For further information on staying well this winter see here.

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