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.

 

 

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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

Prakash is a great instructor! Knowledgable, passionate, engaging, and he made the class fun. He also discussed a lot of different scenarios that were challenging and made me think, and that caused me to really dig into what I learned online to provide the best answer. His teaching reminded me what the priority/most important thing in each scenario was, and that you have to assess each situation with careful consideration. Thank you, Prakash! I feel confident that I'll be able to help someone in any situation, minor or emergency. 😊
Melissa Gunther
Melissa Gunther
This is the First Aid course to be on board with.Ally led today’s instruction! What an amazing instructor who uses her teaching to cater to various learning styles and effectively gets the training done. So appreciative. Very grateful. Thank you!
Primrose Lewis
Primrose Lewis
Melissa
Melissa
Ms Ally, our instructor is so helpful, she lets us participate in the activity, she makes us feel relaxed, can be easily understood and can be easily approached. The place is clean and in order!! Thank you SOS!
Cristina Montefalcon
Cristina Montefalcon
Navreet was amazing! She explained everything in good detail and made the first Aid and CPR training a breeze!
Logic Is a Race
Logic Is a Race
Ally was awesome!!!
alex ibazeta
alex ibazeta
My two instructors today at 10 Kingsbridge Garden Circle reawaken the extreme importance of not just getting certified as a Firstaider but ensuring we left more confident and knowledgeable to help as needed. #nolongerabystander
GABRIELLE SAMUEL
GABRIELLE SAMUEL
This was an amazing course with some excellent teachers. Both Ally and Lydia were so incredibly patient and caring and incredible at giving well thought out answers. Long day but it was so nice to have such nice people teaching you. The test at the end was short but intensive aswell. So pay attention!
Anne marie P
Anne marie P
It was great…Thanks Mr Dennis 🤗
ODUNAYO ADESEWA
ODUNAYO ADESEWA
Great session with Dennis
Sonia A
Sonia A
Training with Daniel was very interactive and fun. I learnt alot.
Kristina Smith
Kristina Smith
Karen Guevarra
Karen Guevarra
Melvyn was awesome!!! Very entertaining, very informative, and had the ability to keep it all very simple to remember.
Adam Ahmed
Adam Ahmed
Maysaa Mueen
Maysaa Mueen
Mario is an excellent instructor.
Veronica Inaibagha
Veronica Inaibagha
I am happy being lucky to have this course with a great instructor Patty Turnbull. She is very knowledgeable and efficient, her accent is very clear , she is talented to educate in a way to keep us attentive without feeling board although it is a long day. Thank you Patty. Thank you SOS
Louris Girgues
Louris Girgues
Patty was a great instructor, very easy to follow and just as easy to talk to about any questions to clarify.
Avocado Ception
Avocado Ception
Benson Amihere
Benson Amihere
Prakash was our trainer who made this training fun and dispensed a lot of information with examples. Prakash converted complex information into easy digestible information without overwhelming us. There was not a single dull moment in the entire training and Prakash covered every aspect of first-aid/CPR in timely manner. He's passionate, well organized, very engaging and humorous. Thank you, Prakash.
Kulwant Singh
Kulwant Singh
Peggy was excellent.
Tristan Wiggins
Tristan Wiggins
Training is good and more hands on with real life examples.
Viralkumar Rathod
Viralkumar Rathod
Peggy was an excellent instructor for the First Aid and CPR training. Her knowledge and teaching style made the course informative and engaging.
Zee Shan
Zee Shan
I completed my BLS and standard first aid training with Julie, and it was an amazing experience. Julie's professionalism, knowledge, and helpfulness created a safe and enjoyable learning environment. Her contagious laughter made the entire experience even more enjoyable. It was a pleasure having her as my instructor.
Soleil Smith
Soleil Smith
Patty Turnbull was a wonderful teacher and took time to help us, and go through the material thank you Patty!
Omar Khan
Omar Khan
Patty was amazing
David Kerrigan
David Kerrigan
Prachir Pasricha
Prachir Pasricha
Sakshi
Sakshi
Had a wonderful great session on First aid with Patty Turnbull. The class was very insightful and blended with great sense of humour to keep the audience active and attentive. Absolutely loved the experience.
Surya Ram
Surya Ram
Patty was very funny and the information provided was clear. She demonstrated every method and gave us tips on how to improve.
Charlin Osei
Charlin Osei
Patty Turnbull did a fantastic job with the course. Thank you
Jesse Dwyer
Jesse Dwyer
Has a great training session. Our instructor Patty was great at explaining the material, what to look out for and how best to help the person. She equipped us well in providing CPR and using AED.Thank you for a great session!!
Smit Chotai
Smit Chotai
Great experience. Instructor Mario Sacco was interactive and made it an enjoyable experience.
Amr Abdalla
Amr Abdalla
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Excellent experience. Instructor Mario is funny and very good Instructor.
Asima Sultana
Asima Sultana
Easy to understand and great humour. Will be back in 2 years!
Mayou Stoddart
Mayou Stoddart
Such a sweet man, funny guy.
Dania
Dania
Prabh Gill
Prabh Gill
I am very happy to be here and study with Mario. He is very nice person and he helped us mask fit very seriously and he was very dedicated. I learned a lot of knowledge about mask knowledge and skills. Thanks Mario, thanks the Red Cross.
Enqi Huang
Enqi Huang
Kamani Sirisena
Kamani Sirisena
Session was delivered professionally.
M Y
M Y
Thank you Prakash for an awesome class. I didnt think I wouldnt learn so much more from the class today, my class was able to get lots of misconceptions clarified. You challenged us with critical scenarios and made us think. From my past experience , I think first aid class would be boring but for the first time at the SOS first aid centre, I’m very happy with the instructor. Highly recommend!
Natalie Le
Natalie Le
I just wanted to say thank you very much to Patty for being a great and wonderful instructor. For making us understand the material thoroughly and clearly. And most of all for being patient with us. If I need to do another course that they offer, I would definitely do it here and highly recommend it for everyone. Thanks again Patty and SOS First Aid and Safety Training
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Patty was great! Very informative and patient
Faisa S
Faisa S
i did bls and first aid training here with patty. she was such a good teacher/instructor. she was very helpful, funny, and engaging she gives a lot of stories which help us remember important details. it was a really fun and informative class. i wish the best for mrs patty!!!
tierra cab
tierra cab
khadija gaouzi
khadija gaouzi
Patty was great!
Leanne
Leanne
Solomon Cusi
Solomon Cusi
I had patty for my instructor and she was so good!! She explained everything in a clear and concise manner. It was overall a fun two days in class with her!!😄
Shakali Martin
Shakali Martin
I am really impressed by the teaching method of Mr. Prakash nagar.
Himanshu
Himanshu
It was an amazing experience! Prakash Nagar is having great knowledge with First Aid & CPR. He clarified clearly when to administer CPR, AED which was a bit confusing for me when I did the reading online.
Dharmesh Patel
Dharmesh Patel
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Thao Nguyen
Thao Nguyen
Every aspect was taken and explains properly
Olga Ezcurra
Olga Ezcurra
The instructors were very nice and informative. They gave great feedback throughout the whole process
Naomi McDonald
Naomi McDonald
Instruction was clear and the instructor ensured that all questions and concerns were addressed appropriately. Highly recommend!
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
It was good and entertaining as well.☺️
Nisha 120991
Nisha 120991
Patty is an amazing instructor. She explain all the materials in a very effective manner. I liked her teaching skills.
Raman Kamboj
Raman Kamboj
Patty is a very nice woman and her as an instructor is fantastic! Was such a nice experience.Thanks 😊
Sadaf Raza
Sadaf Raza
Seriously...Patty is such a gem of a woman and her as an instructor is fantastic! Was such a lovely experience! Hopefully I get her for my RE-certification again next time!
Raven Feldman
Raven Feldman
Great instruction and easily accessible location with ample parking.
Sasha M
Sasha M
Katey Hamilton
Katey Hamilton
Catherine G. Dela Cruz
Catherine G. Dela Cruz
Had a great class with Dr. Prakash. He is super knowledgable! I will recert with SOS next year.
Beonca Luk
Beonca Luk
Patty is an amazing instructor. I had a fun & educational experience.
h w
h w
Fantastic lecturer and is very precise about the whole training.
Ray Arnold
Ray Arnold
Patty is an amazing instructor. She explains all the materials thoroughly.
Keerthana Neethirasa
Keerthana Neethirasa
Patty is one of the best instructors I've had, she's super nice and fun and always ensuring everybody is on track and performing well. She made the class fun and go by quick
dema alnakeeb
dema alnakeeb
Ranya Salih
Ranya Salih
It was a great experience
Jemimah Robin
Jemimah Robin
Mario was awesome! Detailed, quick, and friendly instructor.
Julian Salvador
Julian Salvador
Mario is Very knowledgeable!Highly recommend!
Nida Javaid
Nida Javaid
Mario was a pleasant teacher that was patient and humorous.
A_Stumble
A_Stumble
Mario was very knowledgeable, humorous and efficient with the process. Highly recommend him for anyone!
S T
S T
Miranda Ko
Miranda Ko
Instructor Ally, was absolutely phenomenal. The classroom environment was excellent, and Ally made sure everyone understood what was being taught. Thank you for your teachings
Ashley Amaral
Ashley Amaral
Very great teaching by Ally
Omobolanle Adebayo-Oyeyipo
Omobolanle Adebayo-Oyeyipo
Amazing instructor, made the day seamless and interesting with great examples and information. Thank you Ally Sommer
Suzie Catarino
Suzie Catarino
Very nice and interacting session with Prakash, I really dont know about Israel been the only country using the Red Crystal symbol, but today I know.
segun joseph
segun joseph
I was really pleased with learning about the the priority in the impalement and CPR. It was something I didn’t know before and I feel that’s extremely important. Also the instructor was fantastic.
James Proulx
James Proulx
i didn’t know that peeing on a jellyfish sting was actually the right thing to do
Niall Harris
Niall Harris
Absolutely loved both instructorsDr.Prakash and Patty Turnbull.Both instructors showed their passion and dedication through their lectures and teaching. Everyone participated and had fun while learning. I would recommend them both.
Tisha s
Tisha s
The Instructors were very thorough with the course. Really learned a lot.
Ehsan Ahmad
Ehsan Ahmad
Vanessa Tran
Vanessa Tran
Very good information and very helpful
david luu
david luu
Patty was engaging, good at explaining things and open to feedback
amber elley
amber elley
Patty was a great instructor. Pace of the course and hands on instruction were very good.
Jim Koitsopoulos
Jim Koitsopoulos
This is an awesome experience different mask fitting I had before.
PVM PVM
PVM PVM
Alyssa Viozzi
Alyssa Viozzi
Great session!
Latifa Latifa
Latifa Latifa
The teacher was friendly and taught me well, teaching me things from misconceptions about First Aid to vital practices.
Maxwell Thornton
Maxwell Thornton
Really fun and I learned a lot. It was very interactive.Something I would have preferred, as we are learning the ABC’s is give us time to make sure we are doing it properly before asking us to do it quickly. I felt a lot of pressure trying to do it quickly that I was missing proper steps.
Jennifer Lam
Jennifer Lam
I had a great experience. My instructor (Prakash) made sure that we understood all the concepts and we did a lot of hands-on training as well. This session cleared up a lot of confusions in my mind, and left me feeling more confident about how to respond in an emergency.
Mehroo Siddiqui
Mehroo Siddiqui
Debbie was an excellent instructor! She taught the course in a systematic way and made it easy to get through.
Hitesh Sharma Burgus
Hitesh Sharma Burgus
Ajay Ramoutar
Ajay Ramoutar
I have been using SOS First aid and Safety Training for my first aid qualifications. This year, I renewed my BLS. Patty and the team have been professional and knowledgeable, with an emphasis on practical application. I refer all coworkers to SOS and would recommend anyone looking for first aid to come here.
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
sharnjeet sandhu
sharnjeet sandhu
Things I learned that I didn't know before- You can get anaphylaxis from a bee sting.- How to apply slings (because previously I got certification during covid there was social distancing, and we only watched on a video).- A lot of things that you see on television may be false or misconceptions. For example, amputated limbs do not go inside ice but it has to be wrapped up in a gauze. It is labeled and then put inside an ice bag.
Teresa Mai
Teresa Mai
Park Great instructor and great class. Learned so many new things
fadi haddad
fadi haddad
Allie was outstanding 👏 Thank you
Liz Grilo
Liz Grilo
It was really good experience
Jagjit Sandhu
Jagjit Sandhu

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