Has your summer vacation ever been interrupted by a trip to a local hospital or walk-in clinic? Whether you are relaxing on the dock in Muskoka, hiking on Cape Breton Island, or beachhopping in the south of France – a trip to see a doctor can be very disruptive, especially if the closest clinic is hours away. Fortunately, with the advent of virtual healthcare apps, all you need to consult instantly with healthcare professionals is a smartphone and an internet connection.
Let’s take a look at some common summer health concerns that can be managed virtually:
As soon as the warm weather hits, Canadians flock outside in shorts and T-shirts to soak up the sun while it lasts. It should come as no surprise that dermatological concerns including sunburns are among the top issues treated virtually on Medisys On-Demand. Most sunburns are mild enough to treat without the need for in-person medical attention. However, when a sunburn is severe or accompanied by other symptoms such as fever and dehydration – immediate medical attention may be necessary. With a quick virtual care consult, you can determine whether a trip to a local hospital or clinic is required. If in-person medical care is not necessary, your virtual care practitioner can advise you on the best at-home or over-the-counter remedies.
BUG BITES, RASHES AND SKIN IRRITATIONS
Many bug bites and minor skin irritations resolve themselves with time and/or over the counter anti-itch lotions. Other issues such as severe allergies, strong poison ivy reactions, rattlesnake bites, certain spider bites, or bee stings close to the throat may warrant medical attention. If emergency response is required, call 911. If not, your virtual care practitioner can quickly help you navigate the situation and determine the best next steps, whether it’s a prescription or over-the-counter medication, a trip to the hospital, or a simple at-home remedy like an oatmeal bath.
Nothing feels better on a hot summer day than jumping into a cool pool, lake or ocean. Unfortunately for some, that refreshing dip can cause a bacterial infection known as Swimmer’s Ear. Swimmer’s Ear (otitis externa) leads to an estimated 2.4 million doctor’s visits and $500 million in health care costs each year in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But a case of Swimmer’s Ear doesn’t have to ruin your summer vacation – typically the associated pain can be lessened with painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, while the infection can often be treated with over-the-counter antibiotic ear drops. As with most bacterial infections, prompt diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications.
EYE IRRITATION AND INFECTION
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, can be caused by a variety of factors – from viruses to bacteria to dust. Many cases of eye irritation are harmless and resolve on their own, others are contagious and can quickly spread. If assessed and treated immediately, you can stop a contagious eye infection from spreading to the whole family and avoid possible complications such as damage to the cornea. A virtual healthcare professional will help you determine the right course of action, whether it is a trip to the doctor (eg. a newborn with pinkeye) or simple over-the-counter eye drops.
Whether you’re grilling up steaks at the cottage or enjoying street food in Bangkok, food poisoning can quickly put a damper on your vacation. The Government of Canada estimates that there are about 4 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada every year. Sickness from food poisoning can last from several hours to several days. In severe cases and in individuals in high-risk groups (eg. pregnant women, elderly, babies or young children) food poisoning can lead to complications that require hospitalization. Your virtual care clinician will assess your symptoms, your risk of complications, and the best course of action – whether it’s rest and fluids or a trip to the hospital.
FORGOTTEN PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
You diligently prepped and packed for your vacation, but upon arrival at your destination you realize you forgot something. Sound familiar? We often forget to pack easily replaceable items like a toothbrush, deodorant or bottle of shampoo – but what about critical items like prescription heart medication, an Epipen or asthma inhaler, or birth control pills? With Medisys On-Demand you can obtain prescriptions virtually. Your prescriptions will be faxed to a local pharmacy and can often be ready for pick up in as little as 15 minutes.
Having a doctor in your pocket while on vacation is convenient, but preventing health issues before they occur is even better. Depending on your travel itinerary and destination, a pretravel virtual care consult can help you determine the best precautionary measures to take to ensure a safe and healthy trip - from sun and tick safety to food safety to pre-travel vaccinations and prescriptions to what to pack in your first aid kit. Click here to learn more about how Medisys On-Demand can help you.