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

DrMarinor Blanco
DrMarinor Blanco
Prakash was an amazing instructor who took his time to show us the theory and the connection to the practical. I learned that removing the inpaled object is beneficial to save someone's life.
MsBeeYouTilFull Love
MsBeeYouTilFull Love
I learned that if it is impaled but interfere with CPR you can take the impaled object out . Our instructor was very informative and helpful throughout the coarse
Vieve Blanco
Vieve Blanco
Teacher was nice I learned alot from him
Renee Rudder
Renee Rudder
Teacher was great and engaging. He had lots of facts and great at teaching key points!
Ashley Saunders
Ashley Saunders
TheonlyTT٭
TheonlyTT٭
Prakash Nagar is doing great. He is very informative and nice.
pikaboo 10
pikaboo 10
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
I really enjoyed the class. The lectures were understandable. It was a pleasure to be here today. I have a say personally, our instructor was very nice person.
Farhina Hossain
Farhina Hossain
Kaif Khan
Kaif Khan
Prakash was an amazing instructor! I have taken this course twice before, but felt like I learnt the most this time around. I was a lot more comfortable doing the sling wrappings.
Harini Rajaratnam
Harini Rajaratnam
Great teacher and comfortable place
Marwah alshabeeb
Marwah alshabeeb
Andriecha
Andriecha
i can say i have the knowledge and confidence to give primary care whenever wherever needed if possible. Recognize and prioritize.i appreciate the way Mr. Prakash Nagar provided knowledge in a cool and stress free environment to the students.
Annu Agrawal
Annu Agrawal
It was very educational and I learnt how to save lifes which is very important
Sana Khan
Sana Khan
Prakash Nagar is a great teacher.Breifly teach each nd every concept
Pooja Bhattarai
Pooja Bhattarai
It was very informative session…well structured and conveyed. Thank you
S T
S T
Like this place as they explain everything very well.
marlen flores
marlen flores
Alshaima Sharafaddin
Alshaima Sharafaddin
shivani sharma
shivani sharma
Pleasant
Red Kakarot
Red Kakarot
Very informative and full of knowledge. Knows exactly how to deliver an information and to make you remember it. Thank Mr. pakash.
Noor Taha
Noor Taha
The class was very smooth and you learn alot on basic life support.
Charmaine Ruiz
Charmaine Ruiz
IG T
IG T
Niya xoxo
Niya xoxo
Very good instructor, explains everything in detail with explanations.
Priyanka Manjunath
Priyanka Manjunath
Had a training session with Patty for Standard First Aid and BLS. She was amazing, made the class fun and entertaining definitely hope i get her again.
Crystal
Crystal
cincinnati808
cincinnati808
Patty was an excellent instructor! Very thorough and good knowledge of the material :)
David Vaz
David Vaz
tish doyle
tish doyle
The best class I ever had , Patty is super cool teacher
Manish Khurana
Manish Khurana
Excellent instructor with amazing methodology, knowledge and experience.
NPS LAW
NPS LAW
Adam Khan
Adam Khan
Aleyna D.
Aleyna D.
This instructor is very knowledgeable and made the course fun to learn. He answered all of our questions in ways that was very easy to understand. I feel like I've learned and retained alot of the information based on his teaching style. Thank you so much😊
eshanti singh
eshanti singh
KC B
KC B
The experience was amazing and I really learned a lot from it.
Marianne Rose Guelos
Marianne Rose Guelos
Prakash Nagar sir is amazing! Cleared all the concepts and reduces anxiety and helps build a confidence of saving lives in you!
Sushil Katti
Sushil Katti
Very good demonstration of cpr technique. Instructor very good
Kenna Fay
Kenna Fay
Supportive,knowledgeable and very kind instructor.
Kerstine Banares
Kerstine Banares
The CPR/First aid training was very informative and the day went by smoothly. Instructor Prakash explained everything well and tested our knowledge along the way to make sure we felt comfortable. Thanks to SOS first aid and safety training for the great experience.
Par B
Par B
My Facilitator for the course was Mr. Prakash Nagar, and he made the whole session so interesting that the whole 8hrs passed in a blink of an eye!!It was a wonderful interaction and I’m really glad that I got to learn so much today from him. Thank you!
Parshwati Bhaumik
Parshwati Bhaumik
Filip Pejic
Filip Pejic
Prakash is a very enthusiastic but patient teacher. Excellent hands on assistance with practical portions of class when needed. I now feel more confident in providing CPR as well as applying tourniquets and slings!
Elizabeth M
Elizabeth M
Made the practical learning easy to understand and follow
Alayah E
Alayah E
It’s a great experience to study with today’s instructor. He’s knowledgeable and encouraging. He helped us understanding and remembering the knowledge better.
Grace Cheung
Grace Cheung
10/10 experience teacher was amazing
Zoeceh
Zoeceh
N Malinay
N Malinay
I want to say a big thank you to Ms VIOLA, she was so professional and she made the course understandable and fun.
bee babs
bee babs
nandita sarin
nandita sarin
Very interesting and engaging training. Thank you!
Amy Chen
Amy Chen
Great teacher who explained the whys behind all the procedures and encouraged class participation. Wanted the class to be longer as they seemed to have a lot of knowledge to share.
Shani K.
Shani K.
Interactive , interesting and fun. Great experience
Belinda Shemilt
Belinda Shemilt
Marina Douglas
Marina Douglas
Prakesh was a really great instructor, he’s very entertaining and easy to learn from.
Nikababy TV
Nikababy TV
Vickie Ng
Vickie Ng
Very helpful and knowledgeable teacherGot excellent trainingThank you
Rania Beshay
Rania Beshay
I did my training at the Kingsbridge Garden location and Prakash was the First Aid and CPR instructor for our group.He was so fantastic , friendly and provides knowledge in a fun way. The day breezed by and I learned so much. I highly recommend this location for any first aid/cpr classes or recertification.
CKas 7
CKas 7
I loved my experience with the Red Cross for my First Aid CPR certification! Prakash Nagar was amazing and so knowledgeable. He made things make sense. Thank you!
Melanie Gagnon
Melanie Gagnon
Valeriia Voronina
Valeriia Voronina
Sarah Emnace
Sarah Emnace
Khushi Walia
Khushi Walia
kiran saini
kiran saini
Rupinder Kaur
Rupinder Kaur
Great instructor. Good pacing for the course, it didn’t feel like it was dragging. The instructor keep everyone interested.
Raquel Heayn
Raquel Heayn
Kelly Reid
Kelly Reid
Denis was great… great energy
Emma Frattaroli
Emma Frattaroli
Mina Hanna
Mina Hanna
Instructor made it comprehensive and easy to understand.
Andrew McLean
Andrew McLean
Very informative, and enjoyed the direction from the instructor helped where technique needed to be improved
jonathan posella
jonathan posella
Instructor provided useful real life context to information and skills. Very engaging and easy to listen to.
Dalton Pears
Dalton Pears
Ryan Erskine
Ryan Erskine
Tazeen Siddiqui
Tazeen Siddiqui
Alina Zahid
Alina Zahid
It was a great course with a ver pleasant and knowledgeable teacher. If I could have one complaint, it would be the need for a scheduled break in the morning session.
Nicole Stockill
Nicole Stockill
Great and convenient place to take the course. Instructor was amazing and great mix of learning with fun and laughter . Ready to give first aid and CPR .Highly recommend 😊
Pooja Ghori
Pooja Ghori
Prakash Nagar is the best first aid instructor I have had the pleasure of learning from. His knowledge and intelligence is obvious, his passion to teach is inspiring. I'll be coming back every year for my recertification, and I'm sure I'll learn something new every time
Timothy Votruba
Timothy Votruba
Completed my CPR/BLS blended course with Prakash. He is an amazing instructor. Enjoyed every aspect of the class!
Hafsa Haneef
Hafsa Haneef
The course (BLS / SFA Blended) was well taught and the instructor was charismatic and knowledgeable. Still learned a few things although this is my second recertification of standard first aid!
Alfred Mikhael
Alfred Mikhael
M
M
Vera Akatugba Ikanone
Vera Akatugba Ikanone
The instructor is patient and knowledgeable.
Pearl Lin
Pearl Lin
Rachelle Ho
Rachelle Ho
Lena Skibicki
Lena Skibicki
Ray Chang
Ray Chang
it’s good the course
Eunice Kwon
Eunice Kwon
Great experience and presentation skills that allow for in-depth understanding.
Saifallah Ayyad
Saifallah Ayyad
Before coming to my training, I was very anxious but Michelle & Jessica made the training very personal & interesting! They talk about real life situations with their real life experiences! They also care for your experience during your training and make sure that you are comfortable! Definitely will come back here again and recommend them to my friends who needs First Aid Trainings.
Macy S
Macy S
digna George Antoine
digna George Antoine
Chehal Bangotra
Chehal Bangotra
Von Immanuel Yagong
Von Immanuel Yagong
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
Janai Menzies
Janai Menzies
Had a great time learning my standard first Aid with CFR-C and AED. The instructor,A.T Summer was very great with her teachings and practicals.
olumide bezi
olumide bezi
Loubna
Loubna
Very knowledgeable and informative instructor!
Nor Farion
Nor Farion
Rhiannon Dawe
Rhiannon Dawe
Vishwa Bhatt
Vishwa Bhatt
Arizo Hasanzadah
Arizo Hasanzadah
Amandeep Kaur
Amandeep Kaur

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