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

Had a great experience there!! Well structured and organized information, been a while since I’d been to “class”. The instructor Patty, was phenomenal, makes everyone feel welcomed and ensures you have a thorough understanding of the information being presented. Would highly recommend SOS for any and all of your first aid training requirements. Thanks for everything Patty, you inspired this momma:)
Lydia Zeman
Lydia Zeman
Great program. Took Standard Firat Aid C, and Patty and Marita were fantastic!! Learned a lot in short time and shown the proper way to conduct CPR. Would suggest anyone capable of doing CPR/standard first aid should attend this course, especially if you are worried about doing CPR/first aid wrong. They show how it's done properly and give you the confidence to do it. Also very accommodating.
Michelle Sone
Michelle Sone
Fun class made easy to learn and retain information with instructors Patty & Marita highly recommend for first aid , CPR Level C & AED
Lori Corkin
Lori Corkin
I just took the course at SOS in Mississauga for emergency first aid. My instructor Patty was amazing she is very engaging and made sure that everyone's questions were answered and clarified anything that was confusing. I have already recommended this course to my fellow classmates. I also had trouble on the website to register as a student in order to get the discount. However, the staff was really amazing when I called and refunded me the amount in order for me to receive the student discount. I would definitely recommend SOS to anyone who is looking either to get emergency first aid or standard first aid done. I would also do my re-certification at SOS!
Mary Best
Mary Best
Just finished my standard first aid cpr-c course , it was amazing ... patty was a great instructor , she was informative, fun and very organized ... the two days went by so smoothly and so fast ... didnt even feel the time go by because it was great :) i would definitely come back for a recert :)
shaza selim
shaza selim
I participated in an Emergency First Aid Course with SOS in Mississauga. Their location in Square one at 4141 Living Arts Drive was excellent. Patty as a course Instructor also was full of knowledge and experience. Attending a class with her was really enjoyable and fun filled. I appreciate SOS for choosing such an excellent location and hiring some of the best instructors in the field.
Jhumki Laksar
Jhumki Laksar
Yesterday I had the privilege to take the CPR level C course at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga . It was my very first time taking this course and I didn't know what to expect. However, I need to let you know that the course was very informative and I had an amazing experience and all because of my instructor, Patty. She is very knowledgeable and has so much experience, and knows how to deliver information in a fun way which keeps the class very engaged. She is also very accommodating and makes sure to personally clean all the tools you use to ensure they are sanitary. I am very thankful for everything she taught me and I highly recommend everyone to take this course.
Hedviga Zareczky
Hedviga Zareczky
Excellent course that provided the training I needed. Thoroughly enjoyed instructor Sam! His wealth of knowledge was impressive. Would definitely recommend this course to anybody.
Lloyd Dyson
Lloyd Dyson
Such a great course! Patty was so helpful and super easy to understand. So accommodating to everyone and worked hard to ensure success for everyone. A Course I will definitely be recommending!
cara castillo
cara castillo
The training was great! Our instructor, Patty, was amazing! She kept the class engaging and positive. Would recommend it to everyone! Thank you!
Manu A.Rajah
Manu A.Rajah
Amazing instructor! Really learned to save lives and I feel confident to do it in my feel of work. Thank you Patty!
Endy s
Endy s
Patty did an excellent job teaching our first aid training.She made the course fun and very informative.She is very passionate about what she does based on her own life experiences that she graciously shared with us.Thanks Patty for the training and confidence I would need if ever put in a life threatening situation.
Donna Greeley
Donna Greeley
Patty was absolutely an amazing teacher.. Very friendly and down to earth.. She knows what she is talking about... I would recommend Patty to teach any class.
Austin Gosse
Austin Gosse
A great way to get your First Aid Cert. Minimum two day for standard which yes seems long and a waste of a weekend, but it goes by fast and lots of fun practice.
villagemayor
villagemayor
Excellent First Aid CPR-C/BLS courses, easy to understand and detailed explanations, instructor made the course very interesting and fun so we don't lose our focus, our instructor Patty, Jessica was excellent with the scientific proof, and answered all the question passionately, situational and interesting activities. I was able to fully understand the importance of First aid, new information about the first aid. completed the course with excellent score and understanding.Thank you Patty and Jessica!
정한석
정한석
Patty was a great instructor,knowledgable and her paramedic work experience taught us alot I would recommend everybody to do first aid CPR course from Patty Thank-you.
Soulat Ali
Soulat Ali
Took this course 2 weeks back. Patty is very knowledgeable and she knows what she's doing. she goes above & beyond to make sure that we understand everything being taught. I highly recommend Instructor Patty. Thank you
Aim Harry
Aim Harry
I just completed my standard first aid with CPR - C and it was fantastic. The instructor Patty was so informative and sweet; I enjoyed the course so much, it went by so quickly. It was a great experience, I am so glad I took this course. I really do feel so much more confident knowing that I have the knowledge of how to deal with first aid situations that I could encounter in the future. Actually after finishing it, I want to register for more informative courses to get my training level higher. It made me want to register as a first responder in my college.
Alisa Boyarkin
Alisa Boyarkin
I took the wilderness first aid course with SOS First Aid and I loved it, I have also taken the standard first aid courses with this company, I've had a great experience everytime
Patrick Sacco
Patrick Sacco
Took the 2 day standard first aid combo course and it was great. Class size was nice and small, and more importantly, Kathryn was a great instructor. Thanks again Kathryn.
Ali Amin
Ali Amin
It was a great class for me because I learn a lot. Patty is great teacher she made everything easy to understand. There were lots of example and experience for titles. The more important thing was that the class wasn't boring at all. Thanks for all of that patty.
Nasrin Bina
Nasrin Bina
Our instructor(Patty Turnbull) T was very nice. I felt totally comfortable in her class. She seemed very experienced and had many examples to visualize a situation and circumstances for us. I liked her approach to instruction. It was my second time that I participated in CPR and First Aid course but I learned a lot in Patty's course. The room was appropriate and comfortable from different aspects like heat, chairs, noise and etc.
Maryam Molkabadin
Maryam Molkabadin
Great course this weekend wilderness first aid basic. Lots of information and very good instructors thank you Heather and Michelle
David Scarr
David Scarr
Patty is a phenomenal instructor! Engaging and hilarious, I would take another course with her in a heartbeat.
Marci Nash
Marci Nash
SOS First Aid is one of the best training companies I've worked with. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable. They are a great partner to work with!
Dan MacDonald
Dan MacDonald
Zhike Zhang
Zhike Zhang
I had a great experience with my recertification! Amit was an incredible instructor - very knowledgeable, clear and concise. He clearly demonstrated the use of the AED, first aid practises as well as CPR. I highly recommend his class!
laur
laur
The course is very informative and I recommend for anyone who needs to receive any sort of cpr or first aid certification to do it at SOS first aid. My instructor Amit was great, funny and informative, when I recertify I hope I get him again!
Cy w
Cy w
Amit is a great hands on trainer. Would recommend if looking for CPR and AED training
ahmed chakib
ahmed chakib
Nathalie Garratt
Nathalie Garratt
Tyson a real one Amazing experience and class taught by tyson
Saleh Chaudhry
Saleh Chaudhry
Tyson is my dawgs he tought me how to save babies.
Aaliyah Isaac
Aaliyah Isaac
The class was amazing, they didn't rush with us . We were all engaged and Tyson was one of the best mentors ever
Thekillaah Show
Thekillaah Show
Heba B
Heba B
Great class and great instructors (Kathryn and tyson)
Meena Kirupakaran
Meena Kirupakaran
great instructors very active and left the course knowing what to do in emergency cases
Aous Salih
Aous Salih
Justin Lu
Justin Lu
I was given the opportunity to take the SOS First Aid and Safety Training at the Living arts center in Mississauga. Patty is an amazing and informative instructor. She made sure that we understood everything clearly. I enjoyed the last two days in her class!!!
Erica Baluyot
Erica Baluyot
Had Amit as an instructor, he was very engaging and kept the 8 hour course interesting despite the large class size. A much better experience than I've had before with first aid courses and I definitely feel that I learned a lot more.
Benjamin Korol
Benjamin Korol
This weekend I took my first aid course. My instructor Amit was phenomenal! He made the class fun, very informative. I really enjoyed the experience and knowledge learned and the hands on methodology. I would definitely recommend others to take the class.
Denisha Gilliam
Denisha Gilliam
Awesome experience with Amit ...nice and informative
Yogita Sarda
Yogita Sarda
Amazing instructor, Amit, kept the class interesting and easy to learn! Would recommend!
Kaley Redmond
Kaley Redmond
Very good training, highly recommend it! Thank you Amit!
Cecilia Garza
Cecilia Garza
My Trainers were Amit and Alley. Both of them are amazing.The class was very informative interactive and not boring at all.
Maaheen Mushtaq
Maaheen Mushtaq
Amit is an awesome and informative instructor. He kept the class very engaging. Thank you for helping me develop my knowledge in CPR and First Aid!
Khausi Visakan
Khausi Visakan
The course was very informative and Amit was professional in his teaching and knowledge and made the course very interesting....Godric
Godric Pereira
Godric Pereira
Amit was a fantastic instructor! He made our first aid course very informative and fun! Rather than a boring PowerPoint it was very hands on and engaging. If I ever need recertification or to reccomended a place for training this is the first place I would tell them to go. Thank you!
Siddique Baksh
Siddique Baksh
Pankaj Desai
Pankaj Desai
The company arranged this course for us. Amit the facilitator passed on the information in a very engaging manner. We all loved it and would recommend this course to everyone. Very helpful information that can help you to save a life.
Yasir Malik
Yasir Malik
Very exciting and practical course. Very knowledgeable trainer
Ali Sharifian
Ali Sharifian
Tho I took this course 3 years ago with another company. It felt like it was my first time again. My instructor was both entertaining and informative. I learned so much and there was no question I asked that he couldn’t answer (and I ask a lot of questions). Hats off to Amit and SOS First Aid for making the course so much fun to learn.
tailz maddison
tailz maddison
Just did my Emergency-First-Aid-with-CPR-C from 9 am to 5 pm. Thought it was going to be really boring, but our instructor Alison, made things really fun, and enjoyable to learn, and we also had a really good class!.
Omni
Omni
Amanda C
Amanda C
Excellent first aid course. I was not looking forward to taking the course but the instructors made it a lot fun and very informative. This is the best first aid class I have ever taken.
Daniel Sacco
Daniel Sacco
Took the First Aid and CPR course with Alison. She is such a great instructor and would recommend to everyone! Thanks againBeverly Garcia
Beverly Garcia
Beverly Garcia
I received my first aid and AED certification with SOS. The instructors were very engaging and interactive. The class was very well organized. There were many opportunities for discussion and questions. Overall a great learning experience.
Jordan Candido
Jordan Candido
I took this course a few years ago and it was excellent. The team is very knowledgable, they made the whole class comfortable, created a fun environment, and I still remember much of what I learned then!
Julian D'Angelo
Julian D'Angelo
Fantastic! Nadiya and Julie are such great characters. Will do it again.David DT
mathew jonston
mathew jonston
This review is for the Brampton First-Aid CPR course taught by Colin. Firstly, the course is well organized and although it is only 2 days long, there is a wealth of knowledge that is learned to handle many situations requiring first-aid or CPR. Colin is a wonderful instructor who has real-world experience as a working paramedic. His expertise and experiences helped to prove points and demonstrate different techniques during the course. If you are in doubt about selecting a course that is affiliated with Red Cross, do not hesitate with SOS and Colin as the instructor. Thanks!
Patrick Rodriguez
Patrick Rodriguez
I have done my certifications and recerts here more than once and every time it has been a fluid experience. The instructors make the material easy to comprehend by constantly engaging the class in discussion and providing thorough explanations and demonstrations. SOS First Aid truely sets the tone for first aid instruction in the Mississauga area.
Fabrizio Sacco
Fabrizio Sacco
I took my Standard First Aid recertification course with SOS First Aid and Safety Training, and it was wonderful. The instructor was extremely knowledgeable and used her past experiences to relate the course materials to us. The instructor knew how to teach the material in a very interesting and fun way, in which everyone enjoyed and understood, making the day fly by. I highly recommend SOS First Aid and Safety Training.
Cynthia Higgins
Cynthia Higgins
Carl Messenger-Lehmann
Carl Messenger-Lehmann

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