A medical emergency struck our family during COVID-19. Here’s our experience.

My 82 year old Mother-in-law had a medical emergency during week 2 of COVID-19. A trip to Emergency at Mississauga’s Credit Valley hospital had us worried about her, fearful of being near people who had contracted the Coronavirus, and exposing her and us to the disease.

We read the headlines (probably too much) and watch the daily press conferences with our Federal and Ontario leaders. We hear that our healthcare system is under threat as the numbers continue to grow. Self-isolation, physical distancing and the cancellation of surgical procedures, even non-elective, are leaving Canadians with existing medical conditions and scheduled surgeries worried and seriously concerned about the new coronavirus and their own health.

The pressing question is what do you do now if you have a medical emergency, like a stroke or heart attack, during this crisis?

The pressing question is what do you do if you have a medical emergency, like a stroke or heart attack, during this crisis?

 

The answer is that if it is critical, call 911 immediately! Hospitals are currently able to deal with critical situations. Critical means that the person is showing emergency signs and symptoms like unresponsiveness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, stroke-like symptoms, life-threatening bleeding, just to name a few. Do not delay and seek emergency medical attention right away. Do not let the fear of an overwhelmed healthcare system and contracting the virus hold you back.

On the other hand, do not call 911 and tie up the lines for non-emergencies or because you think you or someone you know has the virus. Do not call 911 to report people who are not practising physical distancing. 911 is for emergencies only.

Getting back to our experience this week with my MIL, we were highly impressed with the staff at Credit Valley Emergency despite the chaos created by COVID 19.  Expecting overwhelmed and impatient frontline workers, we found that they were friendly, compassionate and professional. It wasn’t chaotic at all and triage was well managed. The hospital separates suspected COVID-19 patients and has a dedicated area within the hospital to assess and triage people who exhibit symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing and coughing. By separating staff and patients, we felt that the risk to us and my MIL of contracting the virus was substantially decreased.

The healthcare workers were covered from head to toe in personal protective equipment. We are hearing news reports daily that healthcare workers don’t have enough PPE to protect themselves. There is definitely a shortage of PPE. For their sake and ours, we need to protect them by staying home, away from other people, to prevent the spread of the virus in the community. We also need to make sure that our healthcare providers always have the right PPE available at all times. We need them to stay healthy.

Coronavirus is expected to overwhelm the Canadian healthcare system in the coming weeks, and the Ontario government has implemented many strategies in an effort to flatten the curve such to avoid a doomsday situation where the healthcare system can’t meet needs. Overall, people are heeding the requests to stay home, but occasionally you do see people who are breaking the rules, causing a risk to the entire community.

I wanted to give a shout out to my friend and neighbour Marg, a Respiratory Therapist who works on the frontlines at hospitals in Oakville and Toronto. She has posted on Facebook that staff like herself are working with a shortage of masks, gowns, face coverings and PPE in general. Headlines also confirm this as fact. Only in the hospital does she breach physical distancing requirements because she works closely with her colleagues to treat very vulnerable patients, and at times without PPE. When Marg comes home from work she quarantines herself in the basement to protect her family. Both Marg’s husband and her 7 year old daughter are type one diabetics. Coronavirus has a higher mortality rate for the elderly or people with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Hearing stories like Marg’s is heart wrenching and a reminder to us all to continue to practise physical distancing. It’s a sacrifice but we have to do it. We have to work together to stop the spread and to protect ourselves and our healthcare workers. This is how we can all stay safe. If you do not have an emergency, do not call 911 and do not go to Emergency. Instead call your doctor’s office as many visits can now be done online or by phone.

What can you do to stay healthy?

What can you do to stay healthy?

Just like the common cold and the flu, practise good hygiene.

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap, or use hand sanitizer if proper hand washing facilities are not available.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Disinfect common surfaces like toys, doorknobs, phones, remote controls and keyboards, frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you are going to use gloves, all the same rules above apply.
  • Remove gloves safely so as not to touch any exposed skin.

Learn how to safely remove gloves by watching this video. Remember to dispose of them properly in the garbage. Do no leave them in shopping carts or parking lots or flower pots for someone else to pick them up. We have posted a video on our Facebook page about  How to remove gloves safely

If you become sick:

If you are not feeling well:

  • Stay home!!
  • Cover your mouth using your elbow or sleeve, not your hand, when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with people especially those with compromised immune systems, the very young or the elderly
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, or use a full pump of hand sanitizer and rub your hands until they are dry
  • Drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest
  • If you experience symptoms, like trouble breathing, contact your healthcare provider

 If you think you may have COVID-19:

  • Stay home and quarantine yourself!
  • If you have a fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing or have travelled in the last 14 days, follow the Public Health advice to isolate yourself at home and call your doctor.
  • If you need to see your doctor, call ahead.

There are many myths and lots misinformation about COVID-19. Monitor the situation through reliable news outlets, avoid social media, and stay current with information from reliable sources. For up-to-date information, visit Public Health Agency of Canada, Be Prepared, stay healthy, and know what to do if  you get sick.

 

 

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

Olena Urbanowicz
Olena Urbanowicz
george hany
george hany
Loved Patrick he was the best! Halirious and informative! Highly recommend him
Nidhi Patel
Nidhi Patel
Vanessa Manocha
Vanessa Manocha
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Eva N
Eva N
The Class was really fun and Patrick made it easy..
Elena Tan
Elena Tan
Excellent traning
Jaspreet kaur
Jaspreet kaur
Elizabeth Levy
Elizabeth Levy
Grace Jung
Grace Jung
Janjan Mangitngit
Janjan Mangitngit
Chantal Amankwaah
Chantal Amankwaah
marina elhamy
marina elhamy
JOYCE YEBOAH
JOYCE YEBOAH
Patrick was a great instructor for the mask fit test, very friendly
Dazel Nelmida
Dazel Nelmida
A really great person! Fun to work with :)
sarah ahmed
sarah ahmed
Katelyn Prudencio
Katelyn Prudencio
It was a fun lesson to learn about masks!
kelly Sun
kelly Sun
Patrick was a very friendly instructor for my N95 mask fit testing and funny too
Magdelina Yimesghen
Magdelina Yimesghen
Amazing mask fit session! Patrick was so kind and informative. He made the session a comfortable place for everyone, answering any and every question we had. I highly suggest coming to this session for your mask fit! I'll definitely be coming back again when my 2 year validation expires. Great job Patrick! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Marjorie Tejano
Marjorie Tejano
Cindy Vargas
Cindy Vargas
Nabeeha Tabassum
Nabeeha Tabassum
Lis T
Lis T
Very good and helpful! Very good experience
Priscilla Biju
Priscilla Biju
Ellise Gabrielle Flor
Ellise Gabrielle Flor
Marian Yhane Marcelo
Marian Yhane Marcelo
Diana Jugowiec
Diana Jugowiec
Nya Duarte
Nya Duarte
Patrick is an awesome instructor. Very kind, welcoming and patient. Efficient training done.
Fares Madaoui
Fares Madaoui
Lora Mae Malazarte
Lora Mae Malazarte
Sharmayne MK
Sharmayne MK
Amy Vickramasinghe
Amy Vickramasinghe
Melissa Gray
Melissa Gray
Fox Calamity
Fox Calamity
nelson melo
nelson melo
On August 22nd, 2021 I took my First Aid and Safety Training at the Oak Park Neighborhood Centre and my instructor was amazing. She made the information relevant not just to our everyday life, but to our current situation. She taught in a way that everyone can understand. She answered the questions we had in a words that we understood and in a judgement free environment. Protocols for Covid-19 were in place, we were spaced appropriately and mask were worn, all procedures were done individually with sanitized mannequins. Well done!!
mon olliver
mon olliver
Excellent instructor, very thorough, helpful and friendly
Ranna Manbodh
Ranna Manbodh
Manjit Singh
Manjit Singh
Patrick was courteous, informative and kind. I highly recommend this mask fitting session to anyone who's looking to get their mask certification.
Tu-Anh Nguyen
Tu-Anh Nguyen
Mr. Patrick is understandble regarding instructions.
Frencshield Nuestro
Frencshield Nuestro
Emma Miller
Emma Miller
Renae Campbell
Renae Campbell
Yusra Syeda
Yusra Syeda
Andrea Castro
Andrea Castro
Ellie Burland
Ellie Burland
Arbelyn Marohom
Arbelyn Marohom
Corinna Viscusi
Corinna Viscusi
Lily Kisilevich
Lily Kisilevich
Luzinhel John Marohom
Luzinhel John Marohom
Milly Valdivia
Milly Valdivia
chuks Brian
chuks Brian
Stefano Taglieri
Stefano Taglieri
Super organized and clean.
Sophia M
Sophia M
Julia Romano
Julia Romano
Lily Li
Lily Li
Amazing class! Great instructor!
destiny sight
destiny sight
I had Ally for my CPR course. She was very friendly, professional and made the day long course feel enjoyable. Thanks so much! Would recommend
Austin Paliga
Austin Paliga
Alicia Anderson
Alicia Anderson
Sadika Dougheili
Sadika Dougheili
Brittany F
Brittany F
Had an Amazing Experience!!! Patrick is so informative and helpful, I recommend taking this class👍
Kiran Imran
Kiran Imran
Merry Kamel
Merry Kamel
Julianna Ebarvia
Julianna Ebarvia
Gerbie Nkosi
Gerbie Nkosi
The test was very well explained 👏 👌. Will recommend to others.Excellent instructor !!
Joyous Joy
Joyous Joy
kind guy patrick thank you
likkledianito
likkledianito
Sharalee Solomon
Sharalee Solomon
Amazing fun experience
Arian A
Arian A
Trae Colley
Trae Colley
S Pbailee
S Pbailee
Lee Ann
Lee Ann
Tyson has been a great instructor. He answered questions in detail and made it a comfortable learning environment. 10/10 would recommend!Course was completed at the Mississauga site.
Tiffanie Christopher
Tiffanie Christopher
Tyson was a great instructor!! Very informative and also shared some stories.
Diana “dayana” Hosien
Diana “dayana” Hosien
the training was educational, and the facilitator was knowledgeable and at ease with the group.
Andrea Jantoska
Andrea Jantoska
Tyson was the best instructor one could hope for. He took his time to go through the material and was really hands on. I thought the class was going to be long and boring but I actually ended up having fun and I feel 100% prepared to help in an emergency situation.
Alake Mills
Alake Mills
Had a First Aid/CPR-C course at the living arts centre and it was great. Was very informative and our instructor Tyson really tried to make it an engaging and enjoyable day
Myles Abreo
Myles Abreo
It was nice to met Patrick sacco
Raghad Baraket
Raghad Baraket
I attended a Mask Fit Testing class and my instructor, Patrick, was amazing! He was very outgoing and made everyone feel comfortable and relaxed while telling us about the important information we needed to know. I highly recommend!
Keiyana Campbell
Keiyana Campbell
Amrit Rehsi
Amrit Rehsi
Yuliia Bilous
Yuliia Bilous
Mario Sacco was a very enthusiastic instructor. Very pleasant.
Katrina K
Katrina K
It was a good experience. Partick Sacoo is a good instructor.
amandeep khurana
amandeep khurana
Class was as fun as first aid can be. Tyson was an awesome instructor.
Daniel Tchitchkevitch
Daniel Tchitchkevitch
Awesome teacher, made it light and fun. Great job Tyson.Multiple dates available - easy to flex with personal schedule
Tasha Singh
Tasha Singh
Such a great experience completing my mask fit training with SOS First Aid. Mario was very informative and kept the class entertaining!
Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter
I came here for my First Aid and CPR HCP/BLS level. The theory portion was hybrid and the practical was in person at Living Arts Centre. The training was well organized and very informative. They provide everything that you will need for the training. I will definitely come back when I have to renew my certification.
Natalie
Natalie
Well my experience was a bit scary because I was not mentally prepared. At first I thought I was going to pass out but then I was able to withstand the smell of what the instructor was spraying into the mask. I thought I would pass out at first when I had on the N-95 mask but then I realize that it was doable and I can tolerate the test. Good luck.
Avril Jones
Avril Jones
I had an amazing experience . The instructor was respectful and the course is wonderful.
Samantha S
Samantha S
thank you:) i enjoyed it and i met an awesome instructor
Bonu Satimova
Bonu Satimova
Friendly, informative and efficient.
Vinita H.C.
Vinita H.C.
Skirt skirt
Skirt skirt
Lauren Trevors
Lauren Trevors
Sydney
Sydney
Dania
Dania
Krista Pearce
Krista Pearce
Herleen Mudher
Herleen Mudher
Just completed my training with Julie. She was fantastic, knowledgeable and very patient. She has so much experience and she trained us so well. SOS First Aid and Safety Training are true professionals and care so much for us to succeed and that is key. Keep up the great work. Thank you so much Julie:)
Amanuel Sengal
Amanuel Sengal
Well organized, excellent instructors for Remote First Aid Training. I would highly recommend SOS for training.
Kim Macdonald
Kim Macdonald
hannah zanetti
hannah zanetti
H Elbahu
H Elbahu

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Effective Sept 22/2021: In accordance with Ontario Government regulations, SOS First Aid requires proof of vaccination along with valid ID for all participants attending SOS First Aid classes at our public locations. Participants can download proof of vaccination from theOntario Government Portal