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

Some details weren’t covered, like how fast do you administer compressions.
Andrea Cristini
Andrea Cristini
Great speaker, well paced classes.
Justin S. JR Writes
Justin S. JR Writes
L C
L C
Sachi Chan
Sachi Chan
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Louna Aboud
Steve McKnight
Steve McKnight
Chris Froud
Chris Froud
Great Basic Life Support Instructor Recert class with Jen Ngo. Very interactive and stress-free!
Kim West-Acernese
Kim West-Acernese
Great BLS instructor revert with Jennifer. Thank you!
WickhamKatie
WickhamKatie
Reilly ODwyer
Reilly ODwyer
Rosa Baby
Rosa Baby
Payal Sharma
Payal Sharma
Thank you Michelle for making class exciting, engaging and most importantly informative.
You Don
You Don
Nadia Hammoodi
Nadia Hammoodi
Hark Marquez
Hark Marquez
Natasha Gilchrist
Natasha Gilchrist
Michelle is really amazing. I learn quiet a bit with her lessons cannot wit to re-take the course every year and hopefully I get to be in her class!!
Diane Ho
Diane Ho
Joseph Melo
Joseph Melo
Michelle was knowledgeable and super engaging with many experiences to share. I feel confident to provide emergency first aid if needed. Thank you!
Natasha Cappadocia
Natasha Cappadocia
Michelle was lovely! Her personal anecdotes made the material memorable and made what could have been a very long boring day, fun. Thank you!
Tyana Mohamed
Tyana Mohamed
Anthony Man
Anthony Man
Siddhartha Datta
Siddhartha Datta
briar hutchison
briar hutchison
JEERAYAPA ZHANG
JEERAYAPA ZHANG
Olivia T
Olivia T
Shreya Joshi
Shreya Joshi
Ioana Popescu
Ioana Popescu
manvi gambhir
manvi gambhir
Mr. Pounall made the experience extremely educating, while entertaining with his jokes every now and then. For the future he should work on enhancing his stand up comedy career and making a few global tours to make this 5 stars a 6 star.
Patrick L
Patrick L
Leonard Dsouza
Leonard Dsouza
Noman jamal
Noman jamal
Thalia
Thalia
Kiran Sandhu
Kiran Sandhu
Jessamyn Bickle
Jessamyn Bickle
Wonderful experience! Allyson , the instructor was very resourceful & up to date. Enjoyed thoroughly. A great learning experience.
Dipalee Vajaria
Dipalee Vajaria
sanja c
sanja c
Prakash Nagar is a great program host/teacher. 10/10 recommended 🙌🏻
Mae Suliguin
Mae Suliguin
The mask fit certification was professional and very thorough. I really liked Patrick, the mask fit specialist. He's very knowledgeable, really personable and fun. The Kingbridge Garden Circle location is also very accessible, clean and ample free parking. I was really pleased with the session.
Rita Ganassini
Rita Ganassini
purna desar
purna desar
Amazing teacher so well done
Samantha Kazanczuk
Samantha Kazanczuk
Mariel Mendoza
Mariel Mendoza
Lisa Pim (Lcp)
Lisa Pim (Lcp)
Tyler Pimentel
Tyler Pimentel
Johnny pimentel
Johnny pimentel
melanie cianci
melanie cianci
Moe Rafid
Moe Rafid
Pamela A
Pamela A
Laurie Gallant
Laurie Gallant
SOS First Aid and Safety Training is a wonderful organization! 🙏Speaking to Velma in many occasions, and meeting the instructor, Peggy, was enlightening as they assured me that my daughter, Mariella would receive accommodations achieving her First Aid and CPR Level C certification with support. 🥰 Being a parent who advocates for their child when in need is so important. ✅ Being heard and supported is truly amazing! 🦋 Every child, teenager, or adult learns is his or her own way. 💕Hopefully, people continue to see, acknowledge, and remember that everyone is special and there must be patience, empathy, and compassion for each person in any life situation! 👏🏼 Being able to obtain this certificate is a milestone for a 14 Year Old who said, “Mom, I could have had a day off on Saturday, and it is a class with adults! —-and we had to study an entire manual full of too many modules!!!” ☺️ Again, much gratitude and thanks to Velma and Peggy at SOS First Aid for the extra time and support given to my daughter. 🦋 Not only did the girls learn how to save lives, they learned how to adapt and persevere! Dream Big! 🙏
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Purvi Desai
Purvi Desai
Very informative session. Patrick did a good job at making it fun.
Maria Jaramillo
Maria Jaramillo
Rebecca Keane
Rebecca Keane
Kacy Knight
Kacy Knight
Patrick was a great instructor!
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Courtney Priest-Brown
Courtney Priest-Brown
Blood Orange Beauty
Blood Orange Beauty
Jon
Jon
Michelle k was amazing learned alot of good things, I found she was verry thorough and to the point, realy enjoyed and would recommend the class to my peers
Tevin Taylor
Tevin Taylor
Youngwon Kim
Youngwon Kim
Great course! Loved the instructor Mr.Nagar (I think) he was funny and provided great real life instructions and examples.
Divya Sharma
Divya Sharma
Patrick was a great instructor for N95 mask fitting test. Thanks for the great experience.
ahmad kd
ahmad kd
Patrick was great. Class was easy to understand and they were well prepared with copies of sheets and allowed e transfer payments for those who needed a mask provided which was very helpful.
Marina Naalband
Marina Naalband
Arielle U
Arielle U
It was amazing experience and Patrick was helpful .
Alia Mohamed
Alia Mohamed
Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox
The instructor Patrick was very pleasant and engaging. He explained the content clearly and was very knowledgeable about the topic.
Georgianna Kelly
Georgianna Kelly
Mary Jane Gambito
Mary Jane Gambito
Excellent session. Patrick explained everything clearly.
Rohini Telang
Rohini Telang
Patrick Sacco completed my N95 mask fit test and was very kind and knowledgeable. He explained the procedure and was very informative.
Conida Halley
Conida Halley
Oneisha Donaldson
Oneisha Donaldson
George El Khal
George El Khal
Eubelyn Pagayon
Eubelyn Pagayon
Ai T
Ai T
Instructor Michelle is lovely, knowledgeable, had a wealth of personal experiences to share to make the first aid material relatable and accessible. Velma always has a great team and I'm always happy to update my trainings with SOS every time.
Kim FB
Kim FB
Paul McNeil
Paul McNeil
Good place to do Mask fit test and pcr.Kind and generous instructor specially patrick
harshil patel
harshil patel
Fantastic instructor. Clear, easy to understand instructions. Very friendly.
Lisa Hickey
Lisa Hickey
SHREYA PATEL
SHREYA PATEL
Patrick Sacco was very thorough with the N95 testing!
Krystal Goulbourne
Krystal Goulbourne
Kaleigh Redel
Kaleigh Redel
Instructor is very energetic and have a good energy through out the training. Recommended.
Anthea Katon
Anthea Katon
Great way of educating, clear, good
maggie abrahem
maggie abrahem
Rodica Suciu
Rodica Suciu
Jahnvi patel
Jahnvi patel
Brianna Zuniga
Brianna Zuniga
KHUSHALI PATEL
KHUSHALI PATEL
Patrick was awesome! Great demonstration! He was fun, funny and made the test enjoyable. Totally recommend!!
Gaurav A
Gaurav A
levent sevim
levent sevim
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
The instructor Patrick was super friendly
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Jackie Ruvalcaba
Jackie Ruvalcaba
Dorothy Murray
Dorothy Murray
E Aquino
E Aquino
Abbey Garant
Abbey Garant
The instructor (Mitchell)was amazing.
vennah tondoya
vennah tondoya
A fast and friendly fit test experience. Patrick Sacco was nice and very informative. Thanks!
Arianna Mailloux
Arianna Mailloux
HARPREET KAUR
HARPREET KAUR
WASIM SASSILA
WASIM SASSILA
Jyoti Syroop
Jyoti Syroop
Dazzel Roco
Dazzel Roco
Jasdeep Bains
Jasdeep Bains
Patrick was great!
Abena Agyeman
Abena Agyeman
Juliana De Oliveira
Juliana De Oliveira
Awesome instructors, the class was so enjoyable and easy to understand!
Arthi Siva
Arthi Siva
De Muffin
De Muffin
Mobs_ Nishikino
Mobs_ Nishikino
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
Somanpreet Kaur
Somanpreet Kaur
Fatima Albaiti
Fatima Albaiti
Beep Beep Sheep
Beep Beep Sheep
John Smill
John Smill
Danny Yousif
Danny Yousif
parveen jolly
parveen jolly
Baburajan Sundaram
Baburajan Sundaram
Jeremy Huang
Jeremy Huang
Instructor Jessica was really cool. She explains clearly and effectively. Enjoyed learning with her.
nu mai
nu mai
Mihir Khatri
Mihir Khatri
zia haq
zia haq
Monica R
Monica R
Andrew McCulloch
Andrew McCulloch
Praka is an amazing teacher very easy to follow along with, funny and helpful. As well as the organization is very hands on and nice with customers
shawn nassir
shawn nassir
Manuel Filla
Manuel Filla
Darryl Sinclair
Darryl Sinclair
PakTo Kwok
PakTo Kwok
caroline martyn belchior
caroline martyn belchior
Ian Dawson
Ian Dawson
Instructor Patrick Succo was very helpful and led a great, in-depth N95 mask fit class.
kathleenlindsay97
kathleenlindsay97
Cloey Lymburner
Cloey Lymburner
Vaishali Damor
Vaishali Damor
Tracy
Tracy
Adam Casey
Adam Casey
Maaria A
Maaria A
Very good
Diana Kubi
Diana Kubi
Wonderful and well detailed! Thanks Patrick!
jemila binkola
jemila binkola
Class was well structured and the instructor was well educated and friendly
Sarah Fletcher
Sarah Fletcher
Iulia Roman
Iulia Roman
Patrick was amazing! Super intelligent and helpful. I'll definitely be returning when my mask fit expires and need to renew.
Julia Abbate
Julia Abbate
Patrick Sacco was amazing!!
kiana saquing
kiana saquing
Patrick was an excellent instructor for mask fit testing, he is very knowledgeable and informative. Definitely recommend sos first aid and safety training for mask fit testing.
Patricia Seyffert
Patricia Seyffert
Emily Hsiao
Emily Hsiao
Great experience! Patrick is awesome! Thanks again for helping me with my N95 mask fit test!
Julia Fabro
Julia Fabro
Excellent and very friendly. Really enjoyed the class
Tamika Bramwell
Tamika Bramwell

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