SA Pharmacist's Assistant - Volume 13, Issue 1, Autumn 2013
Volume 13, Issue 1, Autumn 2013
Social media : a menace or a benefit in the workplace? : a word in your ear - letter from the editorAuthor Lorraine OsmanSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 2 –4 (Autumn 2013)More Less
We all do it. We may pretend not to do it while we're at work, but let's be absolutely honest. While you've been at work, have you ever expressed an opinion on facebook or tweeted a comment on a trending topic on Twitter? And don't you check to see what your friends have said? What about YouTube or Flickr? And have you used BBM or WhatsApp?
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 5 –6 (Autumn 2013)More Less
An allergy is an exaggerated or abnormal response of the immune system to a perceived threat. This article will take a brief look at allergies and discuss the medicines that are used to treat allergic conditions.
Patients with allergies react to usually harmless substances in the environment, such as dust or pollen. The substance that causes the reaction is called an allergen. Table I lists several common allergens.
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 16 –18 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Colds are the most common illness in children. The common cold is an acute, minor, self-limiting, viral, upper respiratory tract infection, but patients tend to feel miserable. True influenza is relatively uncommon, compared to the large number of cold and flu-like viral illnesses that occur. Generally, influenza is much more unpleasant than a cold, and patients are more likely to be bedbound and unable to go about their usual activities. Differentiating between colds and flu may be needed to make a decision about whether or not a child requires referral to the doctor.
Author Lynn LambertSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 20 –23 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Coughing is an important defensive reflex action that is used to encourage the clearance of secretions and inhaled particles when the airways become obstructed or irritated. Coughing is one of the most common symptoms for which patients seek medical attention. Usually, the majority of coughs are caused by a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Important aspects to consider in the management of coughs include assessment of the cough, establishing who the patient is (a baby, child or adult), the duration and nature of the cough, including associated symptoms, and the patient's medical history.
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 24 –26 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Dry mouth syndrome, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which the mouth is unusually dry as a result of reduced or absent saliva flow. Usually, it is a symptom of an underlying problem, rather than a disease itself. Various factors can cause a persistently dry mouth, including prescription medications, medical treatments and certain autoimmune diseases.
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 28 –30 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Red eyes are a common complaint with which patients present in the pharmacy. There are a number of causes of red eyes, from infection to allergy to trauma. Evaluating the symptoms may provide assistance in identifying the underlying problem, selecting a suitable product and referring the patient to the doctor.
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 31 –32 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Heartburn occurs when the valve between the stomach and oesophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach), is unable to prevent the gastric contents, particularly acid, from passing back into the oesophagus. The stomach acid can irritate the oesophagus and cause heartburn. The symptoms of heartburn are typically described as a painful or burning sensation in the upper abdomen or chest, which sometimes radiates to the back. Acid reflux may also come up into the throat or mouth, leaving a bitter or sour taste in the mouth. Heartburn usually lasts for a few minutes, but may persist for several hours.
Author Bronwyn GreenSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 34 –37 (Autumn 2013)More Less
A wound is defined as an injury that causes a break in the integrity of the skin. The cause of a wound can vary. For the purpose of this article, a minor wound will be defined as a break in the integrity of the skin, in which the superficial layers of skin are affected.
Examples of minor wounds are abrasions, surgical incisions, lacerations and cuts (including surgical incisions), bites, and minor burns.
Author Jacky Van SchoorSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 39 –40 (Autumn 2013)More Less
The skin usually provides a good barrier against infection. However, skin that is inflamed or damaged by sunburn, scratching or other trauma is more likely to become infected. In addition, certain people are at higher risk of contracting skin infections, i.e. those with diabetes mellitus or immune disorders, such as human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or those undergoing chemotherapy. This article discusses common superficial skin infections which may be encountered in the community pharmacy setting.
Author Sumari DavisSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 42 –44 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Acne is a common skin disorder which occurs mainly in teenagers, but can also continue well into adulthood. Although it is not a crippling disease, acne can cause psychological problems that may contribute to low self-esteem, and even lead to depression. Often the reassurance of continuous sympathetic support can be as important as the treatment itself.
Author Jacqui SouterSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 13, pp 45 –46 (Autumn 2013)More Less
Winter will soon be upon us, with the usual influx of patients into pharmacies presenting with colds and influenza (flu). A flu vaccine is the best defense against contracting the flu virus. In this article, the composition of the flu vaccine for the 2013 flu season will be discussed, as well as who should be vaccinated, the dose to be given, who should not receive the vaccine and common side-effects relating thereto.