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

I took my BLS course from SOS and it was an amazing expercience. The instructor, Ms Patty is friendly and explained all the procedures in details. Hands on experience was fun. Moreover, the facility is nice and clean and very welcoming.
Kartikay Srivastava
Kartikay Srivastava
In Oakville my instructor Patty was amazing. I learned a lot and when I didn't understand she was sure that I was learning from it. Thanks SOS First Aid for the courses offered , those always are needed to keep us updated.
Jose C.
Jose C.
The company has helped me out after my request for a rescheduled course. This is all we needed as emergencies happen and grateful they reconsidered their initial verdict. Thank you
Pieter Medema
Pieter Medema
Just did First Aid BLS course with Patty. Great Instructor, Great course delivery - to the point, doesn't drag or make you fall asleep. Really liked Patty's style of teaching. Awesome personality!!FYI - No refunds if under 48 hrs notice.I enjoyed both days of the course.
arsh
arsh
Had a knowledgeable session with Tyson.He is amazing!! great examples.!!! Thank you so much Tyson!
nikivelastgui
nikivelastgui
Completed the Standard First Aid/CPR C course for the first time and the instructor Tyson was great!!
Ana Arrieta
Ana Arrieta
It was very fun class and I had learned a lots from my trainer Tyson. Thank you very much.
Wan Nilprasert
Wan Nilprasert
Tyson is awesome and a great instructor! Appreciated his experience and knowledge with first aid! Would recommend this course to anyone.
Denzel Pinto
Denzel Pinto
Had a knowledgeable and engaging session with Tyson. He is an amazing instructor who knows his content well and delivers it phenomenally with great examples. The hands-on experience made the CPR more fun and engaging. Overall, it was an informative session and I would recommend others to take it as well. Thank you Tyson!
Rameesha Rehmani
Rameesha Rehmani
I participated in a CPR-C/AED recertification course today and the price was very reasonable. My instructor “Tyson” was very knowledge explaining the various topics and his hands-on abilities while performing CPR and the different choking maneuvers was excellent.
Jason Nguyen
Jason Nguyen
Completed the Emergency First Aid and BLS training for the first time and the Instructor (Patty) was amazing! Super cool and funny and explained everything in a simple yet understandable manner. Covid-19 protocols and social distancing was handled well with spaced out seating, mandatory masks, everything being sanitized. personal training manikin, and modified training lessons that reduced passing items around.
Justin Huynh
Justin Huynh
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 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
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
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!
lauren rowbottom
lauren rowbottom
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 oneAmazing 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

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It is mandatory to wear masks in our classes. A couple of skills require students to work with a partner at a distance less than 6 feet. If you are not comfortable with this requirement, please do NOT register for a class. All students are required to sign our COVID-19 Waiver form.