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Christmas Opening Hours

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It's been a wonderful year for Fleming Medical, but we couldn't have done it without you, our loyal                                                                                                       customers. As we enter into the Christmas season once again, we would like to extend warm wishes to you and yours                                                                      this festive season. We look forward to continuing to work together towards a prosperous 2015. Please take                                                                                      note of our Business Opening Hours and Delivery Times (below) during the Christmas period. 

Merry Christmas from all at Fleming Medical.
Christmas Opening Hours: We are closing for the Christmas Period at 1.00pm on Tuesday, December 23rd, and returning on Friday, January 2nd at 8.30am
Last orders will go out on Monday, December 22nd for Delivery on December 23rd


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First Aid Frequently Asked Questions


First Aid FAQ's 

Do I need a qualified first aider in my workplace?

A risk assessment in the context of the Safety Statement should consider the numbers employed, the nature of the work, the degree of hazard, the level of accidents arising, the size and location of the workplace, the distribution of the employees, shift working, availability of an occupational health service with the workplace and the distance and duration from external medical services etc.


How many first aiders should be present in a workplace?

The table below gives an indicative number of first aiders required for different types of workplaces.

Type of Workplace

Maximum No. of
at any one time

No. of Occupational
First Aiders

Factories, Construction Sites, Surface Mines and Quarries

up to 49

1 if safety statement risk assessment shows it necessary


Minimum 1


Minimum 2

> 300

1 extra for every 150 employees or
part thereof

Underground Mines


1 for every 10 employees
or part thereof

Other workplaces

up to 99

1 if safety statement risk assessment shows it necessary






more than 700

1 extra for every 300 employees or part thereof.

If the designated occupational first aider is absent from the place of work, what must the employer do?

If the occupational first aider is absent in temporary or exceptional circumstances, the employer may designate a person, to take charge of an injured or ill person until medical assistance is obtained. Such person’s functions, if they have not received training in basic life saving skills, would, primarily be to seek appropriate assistance as soon as possible and to ensure that nothing further is allowed to occur which would exacerbate the problems of the injured person.

Foreseeable absences such as planned annual leave are not considered “temporary or exceptional circumstances” In these situations the employer must ensure that there is an adequate number of trained occupational first aiders to cover the foreseeable absences or leave, if the need for an occupational first aider in the workplace has been identified.


How is a first aider contacted?
There must be effective means of communication to contact the first aider when required, which will include a telephone/ mobile phone/ pager/ radio.


How are the emergency services contacted?

The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the local emergency services must be clearly displayed in the workplace. Emergency plans and procedures must be in place and people designated and trained to implement them. It must be clear who makes contact with the emergency services.



Where do I find an occupational first aid training provider?

Employer should only use occupational first aid providers registered with the occupational first aid assessment agent (OFAAA) to deliver training. Details of registered organisations and individual instructors can be found at or by phoning 1890 223 223.



How long is an occupational first aid training course?

A training course is run over a minimum of 3 days or 24 hours with a 2 hour assessment/exam. Courses can be delivered over a number of weeks.


What is the retraining requirement?

Occupational first aiders must do a 1 day refresher and assessment to be re-certified.


When do occupational first aiders need additional training?

Occupational first aiders may need additional specialised training if a work place has employees exposed to any special hazards such as:

  • risk of poisoning by toxic substances, e.g. certain cyanides and related compounds
  • risk of burns from corrosive or oxidising substances, e.g. hydrofluoric acid
  • risk of accidental exposure to hazardous substances, e.g. toxic, irritant or asphyxiant gases, requiring oxygen for resuscitation
  • Other specific risks identified in the Safety Statement
  • Additional provisions in other regulations such as administration of oxygen


What type of a certificate does a first aider receive?

An occupational first aider will initially receive a Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) Level 5 certificate in Occupational First Aid.

Thereafter, the first aider will receive a certificate from the registered training provider for 2 yearly refresher training as FETAC does not issue refresher certificates.

The first aider will receive a proforma letter from the training provider indicating he/she has attended the course and passed the assessment pending the receipt of the FETAC certificate.


What happens if a first aider’s training lapses?

Where training for an occupational first aider lapses, a 1 day refresher training is required if the lapse is less than 3 months, otherwise the full 3 day training is required. The important date to note is the date of the previous training and not the date on the certificate. FETAC certificates are dated the date of issue which is some time after the training date while refresher certificates issued by training providers will normally have the date of the training.


How long is certification valid for?

Occupational first aid certification is valid for 2 years after which refresher training is required.


Are occupational first aid certificates from other countries valid in Ireland?

No -There are no mutual recognition agreements between Ireland and other countries on occupational first aid. Therefore occupational first aid certificates obtained in other countries are not transferable and are not valid in Ireland. In order to be a valid occupational first aider in Ireland, you must do the training in Ireland.


What should be in a first aid box or travel kit?

The table below shows the recommended contents of first aid boxes and travel kits.


First Aid Travel Kit Contents

First Aid Box



1-10 persons

11-25 persons

26-50 persons*1

Adhesive Plasters





Sterile Eye Pads (No. 16) (bandage attached)





Individually Wrapped Triangular Bandages





Safety Pins





Individually Wrapped Sterile Unmedicated Wound Dressings Medium (No. 8) (10 x 8cm's)





Individually Wrapped Sterile Unmedicated Wound Dressings Large (No. 9) (13 x 9cm's)





Individually Wrapped Sterile Unmedicated Wound Dressings Extra Large (No. 3) (28 x 17.5cm's)





Individually Wrapped Disinfectant Wipes





Paramedic Shears





Examination Gloves Pairs





Sterile water where there is no clear running water*2





Pocket Face Mask





Water Based Burns Dressing Small (10x10cm's)*3





Water Based Burns Dressing Large*3





Crepe Bandage (7cm )






*1: Where more than 50 persons are employed, pro-rata provision should be made.

*2: Where mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed disposable containers should be provided. Each container should hold at least 20ml and should be discarded once the seal is broken. Eye bath/eye cups/refillable containers should not be used for eye irrigation due to risk of cross infection. The container should be CE marked.

*3: Where mains tap water is not readily available for cooling burnt area.


Is there some flexibility on the contents of boxes and kits?

The above Table provides a general guide on the recommended contents of occupational first aid boxes and kits based on numbers employed. Quantities indicated in the Table are minimum numbers and can be increased. The requirements for sterile water and water based burns dressings as per note 2 and 3 above are only where there is not a wholesome supply of tap water available. Also a single paramedic shears and pocket face mask is considered adequate.

Occasionally the quantities indicated in the Table will be insufficient and the actual amounts required should be based on a risk assessment. An obvious example is that drivers of dangerous goods vehicles would require a quantity of 2x 500mls of sterile water for eye irrigation in their travel kits due to the risk of contact with hazardous chemicals.


What first aid records and documentation need to be kept?

The names of occupational first aider must be recorded in the Safety Statement along with the location of the first aid rooms, equipment and facilities.

Written records of the dates of all first aid training, including refresher training should be kept at the workplace and be made available on request to the Health and Safety Inspector.

Records of all cases treated by the first aider should be kept in a suitable secure place, respecting their confidential nature and be made available on request to the Health and Safety Inspector.

The table below shows the details to be recorded.

Name of patient

Type of injury

Treatment given

Name of occupational first aider



Can a first aider give out painkillers/headache tablets?

First aid does not cover the administration of drugs or medications and they should not be kept in the workplace first aid box or kit. In certain circumstances first aiders can assist in the administration of aspirin if available for suspected cardiac chest pain.


What is an AED?

A defibrillator is a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart muscle through the chest wall in order to restore a normal heart rate.

An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is a portable defibrillator designed to be automated such that it can be used by persons without substantial medical training who are responding to a cardiac emergency. Find out more about AED defibrillators here


Are occupational first aiders trained in the use of AED?

Yes, AED is part of the Cardiac First Response (CFR) Unit of the FETAC Level 5 OFA Standard and first aiders are trained in its use.


Are employers required to have an AED?

No, but it would be good practice to have one.


Do I have to have a first aid room at my workplace?

Premises must have one or more first aid rooms if the Safety Statement risk assessment shows that it is necessary and based on the following criteria:

  • Premises size
  • Type of activity being carried out
  • Frequency of accidents arising
  • Existence of special hazards
  • Distance from nearest appropriate medical facility.

What should be considered when planning and designing first aid rooms?

A number of factors need to be considered when planning, designing and equipping first aid rooms:

  • Location to take account of proximity to work areas and access for transport to hospital
  • Sufficient size to include equipment
  • Entrance wide enough to accommodate ambulance trolley, stretcher
  • Impervious floor covering, with surfaces easy to clean
  • Sink facilities with hot and cold running water
  • Provision of telephone



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Join us at the Pharmacy Show UK

pharmacy_show_uk_fleming_medicalFleming Medical will be exhibiting at the Pharmacy Show UK, the Pharmacy profession’s largest and most important event, which will see 7,000+ pharmacy professionals share ideas, discuss pressing issues, debate hot topics and access free CPD.  

This year’s Pharmacy Show is set to offer pharmacy professionals its biggest and best ever event. This two-day event is taking place on Sunday, October 5thand Monday, October 6th, at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham.

Join us at Stand: PC41 to find new ideas, products and solutions and take advantage of exclusive special offers.

 Fleming Medical supplies an extensive range of OTC goods to pharmacies and retail wholesalers, combining excellent product quality with keen pricing. Across all our customer channels in Ireland, the UK and various other countries worldwide, we provide trusted medical supplies, from ECG machines to first aid kits and plasters.

With over 25 years of research and experience you can trust, join us at our Stand: PC41 to learn about the latest science and technology in wound-care, sports therapy, first-aid, foot health and patient diagnostics. 



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Taking Care and Control of Diabetes


Six Skills you need to help manage your Diabetes 



It’s not easy dealing with a diabetes diagnosis; there is so much to know and do. But, equipping yourself with the knowledge and tools to manage your condition can be empowering, enabling you to take those vital first steps towards feeling better, and living a longer and healthier life. Here’s what you need to get started on the path to improved health and wellbeing.


1.       Healthy Eating

Choosing healthy foods is an essential part of managing your diabetes. Always follow the guidance of your healthcare practitioner before changing your eating times or embarking on a new diet. As someone diagnosed with diabetes, you may have been working closely with your physician, diabetic educator and pharmacist on how to best take care of your health. Your healthcare provider should furnish you with information on appropriate diet requirements for your particular condition. diabetes_food_pyramid

In order to adhere to your doctor’s guidelines, it is important to become savvy when reading food labels, restaurant menus and during meal preparation in order to maintain nutrient content and avoid adding extra saturated fat and sodium. Choosing the wrong foods - or even the right foods at inappropriate times - may cause a dip or spike in glucose levels which can wreak havoc on your health. It is vitally important to keep the blood sugars within normal limits as poorly controlled diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys and the nerves and can also contribute to cardio-vascular diseases, which include heart disease, stroke and poor circulation. By making simple but specific adjustments to your lifestyle and diet, you can gain better blood-sugar control.


High blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms that include: 


  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination

On the flip side, if you’re not closely monitoring your blood sugar levels, they can drop too low.


Warning signs of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, include:

  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination

Insta-Glucose is an easy-to-use tube that delivers 24 grams of fast-acting, rapidly absorbed glucose — 60% more glucose than similar products! So it quickly boosts blood glucose levels.


2.       Stay Active

Not only is regular exercise good for your body; it also has a powerfully positive effect  on your mind. The benefits of physical exercise are far reaching. Being active and engaging in aerobic exercise has a tremendous effect on brain function on multiple fronts, ranging from the molecular to behavioural level. Being active can help control blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular health and assist in weight loss or control for both type 2 and type 1 diabetes. You need to know what activities are appropriate for you to do, how often and how forcefully you need to do them and how to handle the possible side effects of exercise (hypo and hyperglycemia.)


3. Blood Glucose Monitoring 



Purchasing a high quality home Blood Glucose Monitoring System empowers you to take control of your diabetes.

Checking your blood glucose levels allows you to see how your blood sugars are responding to the medications and lifestyle regimen you are following, and whether changes are required. Blood glucose monitoring is a way of testing the concentration of glucose in the blood (glycema). The blood glucose test is performed by piercing the skin (usually on the finger), to draw blood, then applying the blood to a chemically active disposable ‘test strip’. If you choose a meter that requires coding, you'll need to input a number or use a "key" or "chip" each time you open a new bottle of test strips. Avoid this time consuming practice by purchasing a blood glucose monitor with a self-calibration system, such as the Medisign Monitoring System that requires no coding and gives you results in just five seconds - the best choice to ensure maximum efficiency. 

As always, buyer beware! Certain glucose monitoring systems may be quite inexpensive to purchase - or may even be offered free of charge - but this may turn out to be a false economy, as it is often the case that the accompanying accessories, such as lancets and test strips, are more expensive than the monitoring system! Proactively monitor your diabetes by choosing reliable and affordable lancets and test strips that are compatible with your blood glucose monitoring system. 



4. Taking Medication

It is important to follow the instruction of your GP and to understand how the medication you are taking works, how to properly take the medication and what side effects it may have. Having this knowledge will make it easier for you to determine whether your medication is working properly or not.



5. Risk Reduction

In order to take care of yourself fully it is necessary to know what preventive care is required. Blood pressure checks, regular eye, foot, dental exams, lab tests for microalbumin, cholesterol and lipid labs –knowing what these tests measure, what the therapeutic goals are, how frequently you should get them checked will help you plan your care more responsibility.

6. Healthy Coping

Learning and maintaining healthy coping skills is an essential part of diabetes control. Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires so much of the individual experiencing the condition. It can have a dramatic effect on a person’s psychological state of mind as well as their physical being – it can be exhausting, frustrating and isolating. Obtaining the life skills to manage diabetes in a healthy, positive way can make all the difference in your overall health. Join a support group, engage in activities such as meditation, yoga, outdoor pursuits, and stay in control by making use of a glucose monitoring system. This will help you to avoid letting the disease dictate your entire life, and help you on your way to  leading a full and active life. 

For more information, click here.












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Study shows that Mepitel Wound Dressings prevent radiotherapy skin reactions

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Scientific researchers have made a breakthrough in eliminating a painful side effect of breast cancer treatment. 

A recent study has shown that Mepitel Wound Dressing with Safetac technology prevents painful skin reactions to radiotherapy.

Radiation-induced skin reactions occur in 80-90% of breast cancer patients and can range from mild redness to ulceration, with symptoms of pain, burning and itchiness.  This can have a very negative impact on day to day life for patients, who already have to cope with being diagnosed with and treated for cancer.  

However, a study conducted in New Zealand has shown that the use of Mepitel Film - a thin, transparent wound dressing using Mölnlycke Health Care’s Safetac technology - before, during and after radiation therapy, prevents the development of moist desquamation and reduces the severity of other skin reactions. The conclusive findings of the study showed that when Mepitel Wound Dressings by Mölnlycke Health Care is used from the very first day of treatment, the severity of skin reactions is reduced by 92%.


78 patients undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer took part in the trial.  Each patient’s irradiated skin area was divided into two halves, with Mepitel Film used on one side and aqueous cream on the other. 



The study found that there were no cases of ulceration or severe skin reactions on the skin under Mepitel Film, whilst cream-treated skin developed these wounds in 26% of patients.  In addition, the skin reactions that did develop under Mepitel Wound Dressings were 92% less severe than in the cream-treated control group.


  1. Wells M (2003) Radiation skin reactions. Faithfull S (Ed) Supportive care in radiotherapy. London: Churchill Livingstone 135-159.
  2. Herst PM et al. Prophylactic use of Mepitel Film prevents radiation-induced moist desquamation in an intra-patient randomised controlled clinical trial of 78 breast cancer patients. Radiother Oncol (2014)
  3. Wells M (2003) Radiation skin reactions. Faithfull S (Ed) Supportive care in radiotherapy. London: Churchill Livingstone 135-159.
  4. Herst PM et al. Prophylactic use of Mepitel Film prevents radiation-induced moist desquamation in an intra-patient randomised controlled clinical trial of 78 breast cancer patients. Radiother Oncol (2014)

For more information on the Mepitel Wound Dressing product, click here




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10 amazing benefits of Arnica for looks, health and vitality








The amazing Arnica Montana, also known as Bruisewort, Leopard’s Bane, Wolf’s Bane, is a special herb that has earned its reputation for dramatic healing properties. Arnica Montana, also known as Bruisewort, Leopard's Bane and Wolf's Bane, belongs to the daisy family. Natural Arnica Gel is a herbal remedy made from extracts of these fresh Arnica Montana flowers and is the easiest way to reap the benefits of the healing plant. Widely known as a cure-all for bumps and bruises, the amazing benefits of Arnica have been recognised for centuries. But, did you know that Arnica has many more uses other than healing bruised skin? Read on to find out how Arnica can improve your appearance, health and wellbeing.

Creams and Lotions

Arnica can be used in the treatment of the following 10 conditions:

        1.  Shock:

Arnica is an ideal remedy to help restore composure after somebody has had a small shock such as witnessing an accident or taking a fall. Arnica is the first remedy used by homeopaths to heal people affected by shock, trauma or injury to the body, and is as appropriate for a mental, emotional or spiritual shock as much as physical injuries.


                                                                              2.  Skin Nourishment:



Arnica Montana flowers contain sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, carbonic acid, coumarins and volatile oils, all of which are beneficial for your skin. A sesquiterpene lactone, called helenalin, is the main restorative compound in Arnica Montana, which along with flavonoid, helps soothe and renew the skin after exposure to stress. The antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb help in preventing inflammatory skin disorders. They also accelerate the healing process by stimulating the formation of granular tissues. Arnica for skin care can help to effectively heal bruises, sunburns, minor burns, skin blemishes and superficial phlebitis.


  3.  Eczema, psoriasis and ringworm:

Arnica can be applied topically as a remedy for various skin problems, such as itchiness, dryness, pain, swelling and inflammation.


    4.   Vertigo:

If the person is experiencing vertigo due to trauma, Arnica may be helpful during the early stages of treatment. Symptoms include dizziness during quick movements, mild nausea and feeling better when lying down in a quiet, dark room.



 5.  Insomnia: Promotes deep, restful sleep. Can be good for  jet lag. 


   6. Stress and Depression:

Arnica can be beneficial in alleviating feelings of depression and emotional distress. It is often used to restore emotional balance and a sense of tranquillity. Arnica gel can be massaged into the skin to sooth and unwind taxed and tight muscles and alleviates stress.


  7. Post Surgery:

Orthopedic surgeons regularly ‘prescribe’ Arnica as a pre and post operative measure. Many dermatologists have also recommended it after plastic surgery and injectables like Botox and Restylane.


  8. Stretch Marks:

Topically rubbing arnica extracts can reduce the appearance of pregnancy related stretch marks. All you need to do is gently apply arnica gel on your stomach at least four times a day. 




 9. Menstrual Pain:

The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb make it useful for the treatment of menstrual cramps. It can be applied topically to reduce pain and inflammation.


10. Arthritis:

The anti-inflammatory properties of arnica are praiseworthy. It has been used in topical preparations for healing joint pains, muscle aches and swelling associated with arthritis. A research conducted in 2002 indicated that the use of arnica gel twice daily for 6 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in pain and stiffness in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. In case of osteoarthritis of the hand, arnica gel has proven to be as effective as ibuprofen in lessening pain and improving hand function. The essence of arnica plant is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it can be used to massage inflamed or painful joints for relief.






arnica-flower                                                                                            MEDICARE ARNICA GEL 100ml                                         

Arnica gel can be used to aid relief in the following pain conditions:

  • Muscle aches and muscle stiffness

  • Arthritis pain

  • Back pain, low back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Leg and muscle cramp

  • Muscle soreness of leg and wrist after overexertion due to heavy body exercise

  • Headaches either from noise or tension

  • Shoulder and knee pain

  • Flare-ups on herniated discs

  • Shoulder injury pains after operation

  • Pain with sports injuries

  • Joint pain

  • Pains after surgery like spider vein surgery

  • Aches and pains with fibromyalgia

  • Pelvic or back pain with endometriosis

  • Pain from tendonitis – inflammation of tendon

Also, it can give relaxation on shoulder and neck with nightly application.



This herb which provides amazing benefits for your skin, hair and health, is also associated with several side effects when used excessively. That is why it is important to exercise caution while using it in any form.

Improper dosage of arnica can cause adverse reactions like skin irritation, blistering or peeling. It can lead to side effects like heart palpitations or irregularities, vomiting, dizziness, nervousness and disorientation. Use of arnica oil for a long time or in large quantities can cause scalp irritation. Topical use for a long period of time can cause eczema. Use of arnica should be stopped immediately when any of these symptoms are experienced. Besides, it should not be used on broken skin such as leg ulcers. Homeopathic medicines use arnica in diluted form, which is absolutely safe.  It is always better to consult your physician before using arnica externally and internally. It should be avoided in case of pregnancy or breast feeding.



Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.  All reasonable care has been taken in compiling the information for this article but we make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. 


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Fleming Medical's new 'Green' delivery service



Fleming Medical Goes Green!


Reducing our carbon footprint

At Fleming Medical, we are continually looking to see how we can improve our delivery service to our customers whilst taking care of the environment.  As we all know, there is a variety of reasons to go green, but most come back to simply supply and demand. We have a limited amount of resources available and more and more people using them. If we want our future generations to enjoy the same standard of living we've experienced, we need to take action. 

Fleming Medical’s plastic, re-usable delivery totes are environmentally and user friendly and in line with current delivery trends into Pharmacies

So, taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint, Fleming Medical has ‘gone green’ by removing a large percentage of our cardboard delivery cartons and replacing them with a re-usable plastic tote system. These totes are not only environmentally friendly but, to better protect products in transit, they have a unique tamper-evident security seal fixing that provides security in distribution and therefore deliver a better service to our customers.

By implementing green practices into our way of doing business we aim to reduce waste and help conserve natural resources.  Green systems and materials also reduce energy consumption, which in turn reduce energy bills.

Fleming Medical’s plastic, re-usable delivery totes are environmentally and user friendly and in line with current delivery trends into Pharmacies

Fleming Medical’s plastic, re-usable delivery totes are environmentally and user friendly and in line with current delivery trends into Pharmacies.  We hope this new development in the way we do business resonates positively with our customers while providing a secure ‘green’ delivery every time.

For further information in relation to our new ‘greener’ delivery service, contact us on FREEPHONE: 1800 307 777.





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medicare® backs the winning team

Read entire post: medicare® backs the winning team


Limerick GAA Sponsorship



   medicare® are official sponsors of Croker-bound, Limerick GAA 

LIMERICK GAA turned on the style in Thurles last weekend to book their place in Croke Park for the All Ireland semi-finals, after a sensational 4-26 to 1-11 win over Wexford. 
The First Aid care and medical supplies of the victorious Limerick hurlers was proudly supplied by medicare®. 
Fleming Medical has been focused on making high performance first aid supplies since 1987. We play an active part in supporting our community and are delighted to be the official corporate sponsors of Limerick GAA, under the medicare® brand.
This is a special sponsorship initiative as we, at Fleming Medical, have been part of the local community in Limerick for the past 27 years, creating and supporting local enterprise as a proud Limerick company.
Limerick’s massive win sends them through to a second successive All-Ireland SHC semi-final and in a fortnight’s time, they will lock horns with Leinster champions Kilkenny in Croker.
We wish the Limerick senior team all the best as they prepare to take on Kilkenny in Croke Park on Sunday, 10th of August, where the first aid care of the players will continue to be proudly covered by medicare®. 


Limerick GAA Medics in action with medicare® physio kits

Limerick GAA Medics were supplied with Medicare Physio kits





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7 Myths about plasters that could be damaging your child's health

Read entire post: 7 Myths about plasters that could be damaging your child's health



 debunking myths about plasters

We debunk some common myths surrounding plasters and wound-care. 


ALTHOUGH most people would readily agree that treating a child’s cut or scrape

 with a plaster is a critical part of responsible wound care, the rumour mill is

 constantly churning. There seems to be an ever expanding list of myths and old

 wives’ tales surrounding plasters and appropriate wound-care; many of which, 

 if heeded, could impede your child’s, or indeed your own, wound healing. 

 Here, we explore some of the most common myths about plasters and first-aid

 care, and draw on extensive research and fact-based evidence to help you

 separate the facts from the fiction.


Myth #1: A wound will heal better if exposed to the air instead of covering it with a plaster

Truth: A plaster will prevent the wound from being exposed to infection. A minor wound will heal better and faster

when covered by a plaster.This seems to be one of the most widely believed myths surrounding first-aid and

wound care. The old wives’ tale that a wound will heal quicker when allowed to ‘air out’ is completely unfounded

and extensive research has proven this belief to be untrue. An uncovered wound has no protective barrier to

protect against dirt and bacteria coming in contact with the skin, which can lead to infection. Without the protection

of a plaster, the wound quickly dries out and eventually forms a scab. This is not a good thing; Scabs impede the healing 

process by creating a barrier between healthy skin cells. The cells have to work their way under the scab, in order to

form new tissue and heal. When the body forms a scab, it’s nature’s way of protecting your wound against germs.

However, scabs can be scratched or torn causing infection or re-injury that prolongs healing.Scabs formed from

leaving a wound uncovered can often result in unwanted, permanent scarring.

Tip: For less chance of scarring and efficient healing, cover your minor wounds with quality plasters to promote

faster healing and prevent infection.

Plasters before and after

Myth #2: Adults in a childcare setting can’t put plasters on children’s cuts

Truth: There is no health and safety regulation which bans the provision of plasters. In fact, HSE’s

own guidance recommends that a first aid box should stock plasters. This persistent myth has

led to many teachers, volunteers, crèche workers and carers who work with children, questioning

their wound-care methods and the contents of their first-aid box. When an emergency arises, and

a child has had the misfortune of acquiring a minor cut or scrape amid the rough and tumble of

play activity, the last thing a teacher or care-worker needs to be confronted with is a quandary about

the health and safety regulations regarding the provision of plasters; especially with dozens of other 

children demanding care and attention. There is no rule that says a responsible adult can’t put a plaster

on a child’s minor cut or scrape. It is true, of course, that some children may be allergic to some types 

of plaster, which is why it is very important to use a high quality plaster. Most children’s plasters are

skin friendly and hypoallergenic, because they’re scientifically designed with children’s delicate skin in mind.

There is no health and safety regulation which bans the provision of plasters







If you know the child to have allergies, or fear they may be allergic to plasters, a hypoallergenic plaster

suitable for sensitive skin should be included in your First-Aid kit.The most important course of action

is to clean and cover the wound to stop it getting infected.

What the experts say: According to a case study compiled by Marlin (a first-aid and health and safety

training and consultancy company), failure to treat a wound properly could lead to far more serious


Marlin Case Study:

A child grazed her knee on the playground at school. The school did not use plasters, since they had

been advised not to. The child was treated bv a lunch-time supervisor -using water and a paper towel

to bathe the wound - and then sent back out to play.

Two days later, the child was admitted to hospital with septicaemia (blood infection). The bacteria had

entered the child’s body through the uncovered wound.Frank Sparks, Health and Safety Officer in the

Education Department of Birmingham City Council said on this matter, “Plasters are required to be

carried by law in first aid kits (HSE FAW guidelines 1997). They cover wounds, preventing infection.

If a child is allergic to a plaster, the worst that can happen is a slight rash may occur. This is not a 

problem and staff should not be afraid of this. Anyway, staff in schools and nurseries have medical

forms for children in their care, so should be aware of children who are allergic to plasters. In this

case they can use hypoallergenic plasters if they wish.” According to the MIR, ‘Medical Indemnity

Register’, failure to treat a simple cut by the recognised methods could easily be construed as a

failure in duty of care.” 

Tip: Always have a well stocked First-Aid kit with a healthy selection of plasters, including hypo-

allergenic, skin-friendly plasters to treat those with sensitive skin.


Myth #3: When treating a wound, you should keep it as dry as possible

Truth: This is false. Cells can’t repair themselves in a dry environment.

Moist skin heals fastest because the task of healing a wound requires the activity of cells.

Cells cannot function in a dry environment. They need moisture to do their repair 

work. As the wound dries out, it begins to crust, forming a scab and causing the cells to work

harder to repair the injury. The key to healing a cut is maintaining the right amount of moisture. 

Keeping the cut covered with a bandage and adding a medicated ointment will ensure it stays

moist. Using a high quality plaster is very important in order to prevent the wound from

becoming infected and to promote faster and healthier healing.

Outcome: Plasters that absorb a wound’s fluids and maintain a natural moisture balance are

ideal for healing. Skin cells are then able to migrate seamlessly — without drying out and

developing into a scab — to form new, smooth tissue.








Myth #4: The best way to rip a plaster off is in one quick pull

Truth: Slow and steady wins the race!

It's actually better to pull the bandage off in a slow fluid motion, and in the direction of

natural hair growth. If the bandage is difficult to remove, dab the edges with baby oil to allow the

bandage to lift off with ease. Ripping the bandage off ineptly could cause the wound to reopen

and may even lead to painful in-grown hairs if ripped off in the opposite direction of natural

hair growth.


Myth #5: Plasters are a breeding ground for germs

Truth: Quite the opposite. Plasters defend against germs.

Plasters act as a shield, protecting external germs from reaching the wound. This protective barrier

protects the wound against harmful bacteria that could reach the wound and cause infection, or enter

the body through the uncovered wound and lead to serious infections such as septicaemia (blood infection).

Dr. Pat Gilbert, Doctor and Author, focusing on child health issues, with experience in community paediatrics,

said on this issue: “Open cuts should certainly be covered with a plaster, after thoroughly washing, to

control any bleeding and stop dirt or any infection entering the wound. It is difficult to see how plasters

can collect ‘germs’ – and anyway, if they do, better on the plaster than on the open wound!”

It is important to choose a high quality plaster which will provide long lasting, reliable adhesion and

enable optimal healing conditions for your wound, whilst protecting it from harmful external influences.

Choose a plaster with a breathable fabric that will protect wounds from infection, while providing

ventilation, allowing skin to breath and the air to reach the wound, such as Medicare Multipore Plasters.

If you need to protect your wound from water, as well as dirt and other harmful bacteria, choose a high

quality waterproof plaster like the Medicare Waterproof Plasters.




Myth #6: The deeper the wound, the greater the pain

Truth: If you’ve ever had a teeny tiny paper cut that you can barely notice, but boy, can you feel it, you’ll know that this is a myth!

It’s easy to assume that a wound would be more painful, the deeper it goes. In reality, however, the opposite could well be the case. Due to the large number of nerve fibres located just under the top layer of our skin (the epidermis), burns or superficial abrasions will often cause more pain than a larger wound, like a deep gash or knife wound that might happen when working in the kitchen or workshop.




Myth #7 Sea-water is a natural antiseptic and will clean and disinfect your wound

Truth: Quite the opposite can be true, in fact.

What many people do not consider is that sea water may be severely contaminated, especially near coast

stretches - with a variety of highly unsavoury germs or chemicals "swimming" in it. Both of which would

contribute significantly to the risk of an infection and can delay wound healing. In addition, contact with

water will swell the skin, which may affect the process of wound closure. In this case, bacteria and

germs may easily enter the wound and the risk of wound infection would be increased even more.


Caution: any deep puncture wounds or cuts that bleed severely, or shows any signs of infection should

always be cared for by a doctor. If you are unsure about your injury, please seek medical advice.

Medicare is a market leading health care brand, looking after all your needs in First AidWound Care,

and Sport Care. Our aim is to provide you with the most comprehensive range of products, of the highest

quality and value for money. The extensive Medicare Wound Care range has been developed with your

comfort in mind; from Wound Wash Spray, to Foam Dressing; whatever your Wound Care needs, we

have the solution. 


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                                                                                                                                                                     Bring on the Games!




Fleming Medical are delighted to be partnering with Special Olympics Ireland under the medicare® brand for the 2014 games.

The 2014 Special Olympics Games will kick off this evening, Thursday June 12th, from 6pm, when 2,000 athletes and coaches will convene in Limerick City for the official opening ceremony in the People’s Park.

Fleming Medical, a medical devices supplier based on the Dock Road in Limerick City, will support the Games through the provision of medical supplies, a necessary requirement to support the 1,500 athletes attending the 2014 Special Olympics Games.

As part of the partnership, Fleming Medical will provide medicare® first aid and medical supplies, as well as medical equipment to support the healthy athlete programme which runs as part of the 2014 Games.

Mark Fleming, MD of Fleming Medical says, “As a Limerick company we are delighted to be partnering Special Olympics Ireland for the 2014 games being held here in Limerick.  As an industry leading provider of medicare® First Aid equipment with a comprehensive range of medicare® Sport supports, the synergy that drives this sponsorship is clear. The team at Fleming Medical are delighted and proud to be associated with such a positive sporting occasion”.



Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland, described the support of Fleming Medical, under the medicare® brand, as a critical part of ensuring the 2014 Games are a success: “We are delighted that medicare® has come on board as a key medical devices partner for the Special Olympics Ireland Games Limerick 2014. Medical Services are a vital part of these Games in terms of ensuring that the appropriate level of first aid and medical care is provided for all of our athletes. The key support from Fleming Medical will be an essential component in ensuring the success of these Games.”


Taking place over four days from Thursday, June 12th to Sunday June 15th, the Games are set to be the highlight of the Limerick sporting calendar for 2014. In what will be one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events to take place in Ireland this year, the city of Limerick will welcome 1,500 Special Olympics athletes, accompanied by 500 coaches and official delegates as well as a contingent of over 3,000 family members. The Games will be supported by a team of 3,000 volunteers.

An exciting and colourful public street parade is expected to attract thousands of supporters in celebration of the return of Special Olympics Ireland to Limerick. The parade will be accompanied by the Special Olympics Torch Run Team, members of the Defence Forces, marching bands and street performers.

Torch bearers drawn from An Garda Síochána and the PSNI will herald the official opening of the Games.

Thousands of supporters are anticipated to line the streets of Limerick, to greet the parade and welcome the athletes with pride.

The parade will begin at Shannon Street and progress along O’Connell Street, before making its way up to the People’s Park for the ticketed event which will be presented by 2FM DJ, Will Leahy, and feature traditional music act, Kila, among others. This parade will kick-start three wonderful days of sports competition and celebration in the heart of Limerick and inspire and engage Special Olympics Ireland athletes, their families, supporters, sponsors, patrons, volunteers and the people of Limerick city, county and further afield. 

As well as being the main residential centre, the University of Limerick will host the athletics, aquatics, basketball, football, gymnastics, kayaking competitions and the non-competitive motor activities training programme.

Across the city, the Tailteann Sports Centre, Mary Immaculate College, will host the badminton, and table tennis while the Delta Sports Dome will host bocce. The equestrian competition will take place in Clonshire Equestrian Centre.

Ennis Leisure World will host the tenpin bowling while Murroe Pitch and Putt and Ballykisteen Golf Club in Tipperary will host the pitch and putt and golf competitions respectively. Meanwhile, Dell and Special Olympics Ireland have teamed up to design a free smartphone app to support the Games. Matt English joined the Dell team this Tuesday to unveil the details of the app. Also in attendance were athlete and Face of the Limerick Games Christine Delaney and Munster and Ireland rugby legend David Wallace.


About Special Olympics Ireland:

Special Olympics Ireland is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability, but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport. Special Olympics changes lives. Through sport, athletes develop both physically and emotionally, they make new friends, realise their dreams, and know they can fit in. Special Olympics Ireland enables our athletes to achieve and win not only in sport but in life too.

Special Olympics Ireland currently has: 9,223 registered athletes participating in 13 sports in 385 clubs throughout the island of Ireland.

For further information about Special Olympics Ireland please visit:




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