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Learning modules in the Winterproofing learning plan will help you refresh your knowledge of common conditions you will encounter in the autumn and winter. Modules in this plan cover respiratory conditions such as flu, pneumonia and COPD along with coughs, sore throats, fever and vomiting. Nicotine addiction, depression, asthma, pertussis and scarlet fever are also covered.
Dr Steve Holmes and respiratory nurse consultant Jane Scullion review the clinical features of influenza, and the risk groups for serious illness. This article was updated in 2018.
Dr Toni Hazell analyses the latest guidance on managing sore throat including assessment using scoring tools, and the use of short courses of steroids.
Dr Suneeta Kochhar covers the possible red flags of children presenting with vomiting. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include taking a careful history, physical examination, and possible causes in neonates, infants and older children.
Dr Atul Gupta provides a practical guide to the common causes of childhood cough and management of symptoms. Key learning points for GPs and nurses include investigation of the treatment options, and how to recognise serious underlying pathology.
Dr Philip Ind describes the characteristics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how spirometry can be used to aid diagnosis of the condition.
Dr Sinan Eccles and Dr Simon Barry review the assessment and management of pneumonia in primary care. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in adults, making a clinical diagnosis, rationalising the use of antibiotics and when to refer the patient for hospital assessment. This article was updated in 2018.
This article by Dr Louise Newson, updated in 2018, discusses the assessment and management of fever in children, including the traffic light system for assessing the child’s symptoms. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include The Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) criteria to define tachycardia, and signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in England. Jennifer Percival outlines the key elements of smoking cessation and how these can be applied in primary care.
This article by Dr Nigel Stollery reviews the bacterial infection scarlet fever, including the presentation and prognosis and how to investigate and manage. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include mechanisms of transmission such as by respiratory droplets, when to take a throat swab and culture, differential diagnosis and complications.
Dr Penny Edrich describes an unusual rash on a patient’s face, which upon specialist examination proved to be linked to Raynaud’s phenomenon. Tips for treatment of Raynaud’s disease are listed in this activity, along with learning points regarding specialist investigation to exclude autoimmune disease.
Dr Suchita Shah highlights the red flag symptoms associated with vomiting in adults that may indicate a serious cause. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include appropriate investigations to undertake in primary care and important questions to ask during history-taking.
This article by Dr Nicholas Hopkinson discusses aetiology and risk factors for COPD. Simple interventions are considered such as stopping smoking and pulmonary rehabilitation, plus pharmacotherapy for the condition.
In this article, updated in 2016, Dr Scott Hackett covers the management of pertussis (whooping cough) including the epidemiology, making the diagnosis and complications. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include suitable investigations, differential diagnoses and prognosis.