Pharmacists are treating more people than ever who have been injured in seagull attacks

More people than ever are seeking medical advice and treatment for injuries caused by aggressive seagulls.

Cornwall’s seaside pharmacists say they regularly provide first aid treatment and advice to people who have fallen victim to swooping gulls.

Claire Field, community pharmacist based at Carbis Bay, said: “My colleagues at the Leddra pharmacy may see one or two people a week when the birds are nesting, who have been hurt by an aggressive seagull.

“However, the reality is that there are probably more people who have been attacked by them but have decided to treat the wounds themselves rather than seek the advice of a pharmacist.

"We have even seen adults and young children with cuts around and inside their mouths as well as their hands where sneaky seagulls have swooped down to take their food.

“As pharmacists our advice is always make sure you are up to date with your tetanus jab as it’s important to remember seagulls are often picking around rubbish bins and you can’t guarantee how clean they are. 

“Obviously it depends on the seriousness of the injury on what treatment advice we would give but the minimum that would be required would be to clean the area with a good antiseptic.”

Mum-of-two Emily Turner, from Kent, was holidaying in St Ives with her husband Mike and two children Molly and Zach, when they were each attacked during their seven day stay.

Mrs Turner, 42, said: “The gulls are seriously aggressive in St Ives and the food places all warn about taking care eating outside. My son had a gull cling off his front and peck at his ice cream and I had a gull land on my shoulder and swipe my ice cream before I'd even had a bite. We even saw a family eating a takeaway fish supper being attacked by a large flock of seagulls dive-bombing for chips. I would advise not to eat while walking around the town or find a good hiding spot."

“Luckily we were not injured in these attacks but if we had been then it’s good to know that we could have received treatment from a pharmacist rather than having to find the nearest doctor.”

Pharmacists are also experienced clinicians and can give confidential advice and treat conditions such as rashes, eczema, skin conditions and nappy rash. You don’t need to see your GP as pharmacists can advise on the best treatment and medication you can buy over the counter.

They can also arrange an urgent prescription for a supply of any prescribed medicines that run out, so you don’t have to use the out of hours’ service or the emergency department. This service is also available for anyone who’s on holiday or visiting family.

With so much to offer this is why Cornwall’s pharmacists are our #ChooseWellheroes as part of our summer campaign.

Our #ChooseWellheroes summer 2017 campaign wants everyone living, working and holidaying in Cornwall to get the right care, in the right place at the right time – and to make sure that the emergency department is available for those who urgently need it.