Breadcrumbs

Self care

Emergency Departments are for Emergencies

Staying home and resting may be a good option for minor or mild illnesses and injuries, such as:

  • Cold
  • Mild muscle pain
  • Minor headache
  • Runny nose.

In looking after yourself it’s important to note that if symptoms don’t improve, or get worse, phone or visit a GP or pharmacy. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

Self-care tips:

  • Keep a first aid kit handy, stocked with bandaids, plasters, bandages, safety pins, tweezers, antiseptic cream, insect bite/sting cream, cleansing wipes and a digital thermometer. These items are all available from local pharmacies or supermarkets
  • If you haven’t got the things you need, ask a friend, relative, carer or neighbour to get them for you while you rest
  • Remember to store any medicines safely and keep them out of reach of children. Always check the correct dosage and use them within their use-by dates
  • If you are vomiting or have an upset stomach, it is best to avoid unnecessary contact with other people so that you don’t pass it on

Find a health service

To find a local GP or pharmacy, including those that bulk bill or are open after hours, visit the National Health Service Directory*.

Other specialist health services may also be useful.

Babies, children and the elderly

Some conditions that are not life-threatening for an adult can be more serious for babies, children and the elderly. If you are unsure or concerned, phone or visit a GP or go to the emergency department.

Find out more about care for children and preventing illness.

This information is a guide only and is not intended to be individual medical advice and should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace consultation with a qualified doctor or other health care professional.
If your symptoms don’t improve, or get worse, phone or visit a GP or pharmacy. In an emergency, you should always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

*The National Health Services Directory is not managed by SA Health and SA Health cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. For the most up to date information, contact the service provider directly.

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