All posts by St. Augustine Private Hospital

First Aid: Minor Cuts and Scrapes

FirstaidsafetysignFirst Aid: Minor Cuts and scrapes

Minor cuts and scrapes usually don’t require a trip to the emergency room. These guidelines can help you care for such wounds:

1.      Wash your hands. This helps avoid infection. Also put on disposable protective gloves if they’re available.

2.      Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If not, apply gentle pressure with a sterile bandage or clean cloth and elevate the wound.

3.      Clean the wound. Use clear water to rinse the wound. Also clean around the wound with soap and a washcloth. Keep soap out of the wound, as it can cause irritation. If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove the particles. If debris still remains, see your doctor. Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of infection and tetanus. There’s no need to use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or an iodine-containing cleanser, which can be irritating to tissue already injured.

4.      Apply an antibiotic. Apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or ointment to help keep the surface moist. These products don’t make the wound heal faster. But they can discourage infection and help the body’s natural healing process. Certain ingredients in some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.

5.      Cover the wound. Bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. If the injury is just a minor scrape, or scratch, leave it uncovered.

6.      Change the dressing. Do this at least once a day or whenever the bandage becomes wet or dirty. If the injured person is allergic to the adhesive in tapes and bandages, switch to adhesive-free dressings or sterile gauze held in place with paper tape, rolled gauze or a loosely applied elastic bandage. These supplies generally are available at pharmacies. After the wound has healed enough to make infection unlikely, you can leave it uncovered, as exposure to the air will speed healing.

7.      Get stitches for deep wounds. A deep — all the way through the skin — gaping or jagged wound with exposed fat or muscle will need stitches. Adhesive strips or butterfly tape may hold a minor cut together, but if you can’t easily close the wound, visit the St. Augustine Private Hospital Accident and Emergency Department as soon as possible. Proper closure within a few hours minimizes scarring and reduces the risk of infection.

8.      Watch for signs of infection. See your doctor if the wound isn’t healing or you notice any redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling.

9.      Get a tetanus shot. If the injured person hasn’t had a tetanus shot in the past five years and the wound is deep or dirty, he or she may need a booster shot, as soon as possible.


If the wound cannot be easily treated at home, visit the St. Augustine Private Hospital Accident & Emergency Department or contact us at 663-7274 or 285-7274 as soon as possible.

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Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Yellow fever disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever; care is based on symptoms. Steps to prevent yellow fever virus infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated.


Prevention of Yellow Fever

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Use insect repellent. When you go outdoors, use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin. Even a short time outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite.
  • Wear proper clothing to reduce mosquito bites. When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection.
  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The peak biting times for many mosquito species is dusk to dawn. However, Aedes aegypti, one of the mosquitoes that transmits yellow fever virus, feeds during the daytime. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during daytime as well as during the evening and early morning. Staying in accommodations with screened or air-conditioned rooms, particularly during peak biting times, will also reduce risk of mosquito bites.

 Get Vaccinated

  • Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for persons aged ≥ 9 months who are traveling to or living in areas at risk for yellow fever virus transmission
  • Yellow fever vaccine may be required for entry into certain countries.




  • The majority of persons infected with yellow fever virus have no illness or only mild illness.
  • In persons who develop symptoms, the incubation period (time from infection until illness) is typically 3–6 days.
  • The initial symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, severe headache, back pain, general body aches, nausea, and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. Most persons improve after the initial presentation.
  • After a brief remission of hours to a day, roughly 15% of cases progress to develop a more severe form of the disease. The severe form is characterized by high fever, jaundice, bleeding, and eventually shock and failure of multiple organs.


  • No specific treatments have been found to benefit patients with yellow fever. Whenever possible, yellow fever patients should be hospitalized for supportive care and close observation.
  • Treatment is symptomatic. Rest, fluids, and use of pain relievers and medication to reduce fever may relieve symptoms of aching and fever.
  • Care should be taken to avoid certain medications, such as aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen), which may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Yellow fever patients should be protected from further mosquito exposure (staying indoors and/or under a mosquito net) for up to 5 days after the onset of fever. This way, yellow fever virus in their bloodstream will be unavailable to uninfected mosquitoes, thus breaking the transmission cycle and reducing risk to the persons around them.


If you have not yet been vaccinated, please contact your community health centre or family physician for further details on how to get vaccinated.

Should you develop any symptoms of the yellow fever virus, visit our 24/7 Accident and Emergency Department immediately or contact us at 663-7274 or 285-7274.

In light of the recent public advisory to persons travelling internationally, please visit the link below for further details of getting vaccinated in Trinidad & Tobago.

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World Blood Donor Day June 14th

World Blood Donor Day June 14th


This June 14th , Give the Gift of Life. Become a Donor.

 Facts about the blood donation process

  • Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
  • Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
  • Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
  • The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 min.
  • The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
  • A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days.
  • A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
  • Information you give during the donation process is confidential. It may not be released without your permission except as directed by law.

 Blood can be donated at the following locations:-

National Blood Transfusion Service

160 Charlotte Street


Port of Spain


Tel. (868) 627-2619, 623-8204

Fax. (868) 623-3523

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays

The Blood Bank

Building 1

Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex

Uriah Butler Highway

Champs Fleurs


Tel. (868) 645-2640 Ext 2008

Fax. (868) 663-4673

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays

The Blood Bank

San Fernando General Hospital

Give blood - blood bag and drop of blood

Independence Avenue

San Fernando


Tel. (868) 652-1121

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays

The Blood Bank

Tobago Regional Hospital

Fort Street



Tel. (868) 639-2551

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays

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First Aid for a Stroke

First Aid for a Stroke

Save a Life

Key Skill: Carry out the FAST test

  1. Think FAST.

           Face: is there weakness on one side of the face?

           Arms: can they raise both arms?

           Speech: is their speech easily understood?

           Time: If you observe any of these signs, contact St. Augustine Private Hospital immediately at

          663-7274  ext 0.

  1.    Immediately call St. Augustine Private Hospital at 663-7274 ext 0.  or get someone else to do it.

For more information  please visit the links below: –

Rapid Stroke Care

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The Ministry of Health, following consultation with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) wishes to inform the public that two additional cases of the Zika virus in Trinidad have been confirmed. This brings the total number of confirmed Zika cases in Trinidad to thirteen (13). There are at this time, no confirmed cases in Tobago.


The newly confirmed cases are a 26 year old male from Gulf View and a 71 year old female from Tunapuna both of whom became ill with fever, rash, generalized pains and conjunctivitis. The Insect Vector Control Division, County Medical Officer of Health and Local Government agencies were informed and field work has commenced.

The Ministry of Health continues to urge citizens to take steps to prevent the infection of themselves and their loved ones.

1. Dispose of all unwanted containers/items in the yard or environs which can collect water and become mosquito breeding grounds.

2. Cover water containers such as barrels, drums or buckets with a mosquito proof covering.

3. Ensure that your drains and guttering allow the free flow of water.

4. Empty and scrub the sides of water vases or use dirt or sand instead to support flowers.

5. Cover extremities when out in the evenings.

6. Use bed nets that are tightly tucked under the mattress for protection at night.

7. Use insect repellent that contains DEET as an active ingredient.

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H1N1 or Swine Flu

What is H1N1 (Swine Flu)?

The influenza A H1N1 virus is a new flu virus spreading among humans. The virus is highly contagious and causes respiratory illness that is similar to the seasonal influenza.

Anyone can get the swine flu, even healthy people, and serious problems from the flu can happen at any age.  The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition.

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What is Cancer?

Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.

Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.

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