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Your GP and Covid 19: What we would like you to know

Your GP and Covid 19: What we would like you to know

01 April 2020

Thank you to all our patients for helping us during this difficult time! If you have seen a GP to be “checked out” or “tested” for cold and flu symptoms lately, you would have noticed we are doing things differently.

We are not examining your throat, ears or chest. Checking these things doesn’t change our advice to you. If you are unwell, we will be testing your temperature, and oxygen concentration by fingertip oximeter. Doctors have been told to avoid examining the throats of patients due to the high risk of virus transfer both ways*. We can assess how sick you are as we talk to you, so please take time to explain all your symptoms.

Some of our patients are keen to know what to expect and what to do if their cold and flu symptoms end up being COVID- 19.

COVID-19 mostly starts with fever and fatigue and gets worse at the end of the first week.

People can also get a sore throat, and a dry cough, along with loss of taste or smell. Some people even get abdominal pain or irritated eyes.

When your symptoms are mild, it is important to rest, keep up your fluids, and consider taking some paracetamol. There are no specific treatments to try at home. The drugs being mentioned on social media are experimental and we don’t know that they will help you, or make you feel worse.

Remember you need to stay home and not go out for any reason other than medical care, so contact us. Keep to your room, if possible use your own bathroom, cutlery and wear a mask in the presence of your family.

The doctors at TSMP, are here to discuss your symptoms, advise about COVID testing and review your progress, with a phone consultation or videoconference.

Please book online here or call our reception on 4779 5077. There are new Medicare rebates available.

 

Signs that you are getting worse with COVID 19 pneumonia are:

  • Breathing quickly and feeling like you can’t get your breath.
  • Chest pains that may feel like a crushing pressure, a heavy weight, or like a tight bra.
  • Sweating that will not stop, and feeling chills like you are really cold.
  • Fever that is ongoing and not improving with paracetamol
  • Constant muscle pain for no reason.
  • Exhaustion and finding it difficult to move around the house at all.

If you have one or more of these severe symptoms you need to go to the emergency department. Don’t drive yourself. You are seriously unwell.

Call 000. Report to the responder, that you may have COVID-19. You should wear a surgical mask if available.

We will aim to make sure your medical information is up to date, so if you do go to hospital the doctors will have right information. Your GP can upload a health summary to My Health Record for you, or give you a hard copy.

It is worth making sure your loved ones know what your wishes are in relation to CPR and intensive care treatment. We can help you record your wishes in a document known as a Statement of Choices or Advanced Health Directive.

References and Some useful websites are:

www.gps-can.com.au lots of practical advice for isolation and keeping safe.

www.healthdirect.gov.au the symptom checker menu helps you work out what to do.

Consider downloading the Coronavirus Australia App.

www.advancecareplanning.org.au – information on care planning and access to the documents mentioned above.

*Tonsillar examination- infection control implications. 24th March 2020, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 

Dr. Amy Keys, BSc, MBBS (QLD), FRACGP

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