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B.C. Children's Hospital: How to avoid long hospital waits – Vancouver Sun

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For non-emergent illnesses and injuries, parents can visit the new urgent and primary care centres or call 811 for free advice.


B.C. Children’s Hospital is reminding parents that they can avoid long and unnecessary waits at its emergency department over the holidays by choosing from several other options to treat children with non-emergent illnesses and injuries.


Jason Payne / Vancouver Sun

B.C. Children’s Hospital wants your little loved ones to stay out of the waiting room and get promptly treated this holiday season.

The Vancouver hospital is reminding parents that they can avoid long and unnecessary waits at its emergency department over the holidays by choosing from several other options to treat children with non-emergent illnesses and injuries.

Dr. Benetta Chin, an emergency physician at B.C. Children’s Hospital, said doctors and nurses know that the holidays are a stressful time to be caring for a sick child, with many clinics and doctors’ offices closed and emergency rooms so busy.

“Of course, if you come, we are happy to see you and will give you the best care possible,” Chin said.

“But we also feel frustrated for families when we see that they’ve been waiting six hours for a sore throat or even earache that could be dealt with at a walk-in setting or even at the urgent and primary care centre.”

Chin said that while many illnesses and injuries can be treated at a family doctor’s office or walk-in clinic, families are also encouraged to bring sick children to new urgent and primary care centres open in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Ridge Meadows and elsewhere across B.C.

If a child isn’t seriously ill, parents can phone HealthLinkBC at 811, where they can speak with a nurse for health advice any time of day or night, free of charge.

But the hospital says you should take your child to the emergency department if they have:

• A persistent high fever for more than four days

• Excessive coughing, especially with a fever

• An injured limb that looks swollen or crooked

• Not urinated within 12 hours and have stopped drinking fluids

• Blue lips and skin that appears pale

• Trouble breathing, especially with rapid or laboured breathing patterns

• Excessive vomiting, particularly if it is bright green or there is blood in the vomit

• Ingested a toxic chemical, including a suspected drug or alcohol overdose

Watch out for head injuries and bring your child to emergency if they have:

• Fallen more than five feet or 1.5 metres

• Started vomiting after a head injury

• A visible bump after a head injury and the child is less than three months old

• Lost consciousness

Mental health emergency:

• If your child is thinking about or trying to end their life, get urgent help by calling 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE.

neagland@postmedia.com
twitter.com/nickeagland

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Murder trial on pause while Winnipeg juror tested for COVID-19 – Medicine Hat News

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By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on September 23, 2020.

People enter the Law Courts in Winnipeg on February 5, 2018. Jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial in Manitoba have been put on hold for a juror to get tested for COVID-19. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the remaining 11 jurors that the man was exhibiting symptoms and was not allowed to enter the courthouse on Wednesday morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG – Jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial in Manitoba have been put on hold so a juror can be tested for COVID-19.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the remaining 11 jurors that the man was exhibiting symptoms and was not allowed to enter the courthouse.

The other jurors were sent home and advised to self-isolate until the man’s test results are complete.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

They resumed in Manitoba at the start of September with the trial of Kane Moar, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ricardo Hibi.

Hibi, a 34-year-old foster home manager, was stabbed to death in 2018.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre near the courthouse and there has been physical distancing in courtrooms during trials.

Masks also became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

Toews reassured jurors in the Moar trial about the precautions before sending them home Wednesday.

“At this time, the best advice I can give you is simply go home,” he said. “I would advise you to self-isolate over this period of time, minimize your contacts as much as you can and you will be contacted by the court as to when you come back.”

The judge said he was optimistic that jurors would return as soon as Thursday to hear the charge before beginning deliberations on a verdict. However, Toews said there may have to be other actions if the juror’s results come back positive for COVID-19.

“I’m taking instructions from the public health officials, not only in respect of the results of testing of your colleague on the jury, but what implications that has for you.”

Manitoba announced 42 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Wednesday, as the number of people testing positive in the capital city continued to surge.

Thirty of those new cases are in the Winnipeg health region and the province announced possible exposures at restaurants, bars and during a trivia night at a pub.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said earlier this week he was worried by the rising numbers in Winnipeg, where some people who tested positive had visited multiple locations while symptomatic.

The province also announced confirmed cases in three more schools, but said the infections were not acquired in the classroom and the risk is low.

There have so far been 1,674 cases in Manitoba and 18 people have died.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.

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Public health officials call for tighter restrictions, warn COVID-19 could spiral out of control – CBC.ca

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Infectious disease experts say Canadian health authorities must tighten restrictions again or hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 will increase exponentially in the coming weeks.

Echoing comments made Tuesday by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who said Canada is at a crossroads in its pandemic battle, experts in public health are urging governments to take decisive action to prevent the current resurgence of the virus from spiralling out of control.

Canada reported 1,248 new cases Wednesday, and on Tuesday the country’s most populous province, Ontario, reported its highest number of new cases since early May. 

Tam outlined projections that show new cases could climb to 5,000 daily by October if we continue on the current course.

“To date, we’re not moving fast enough to get ahead of this,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease physician based at a Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. “I think we’re being lulled into a false sense of security because of the low numbers of hospitalizations and deaths [relative to earlier in the pandemic]. But they will come in the next six weeks or so.”

He said asking people nicely to tighten their social circles is not going to be enough.

Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease physician, said ‘appealing to people’s better natures’ is not going to be enough to flatten the curve. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

“I think that appealing to people’s better natures — that, hey, you should be careful and you should make sure you limit your contacts — I don’t think that that’s going to work, to be perfectly frank.”

Gardam said Canadians grew fatigued with the restrictions imposed on their social circles earlier in the year and won’t be eager to return to them unless pressed.

“I think we’re going to have to be a lot more forceful,” he said. 

Adjusting bubbles

That means demanding Canadians tighten their social circles, and backing that up with enforcement.

“I would argue that we need to be very cautious, like we were back in March, in order to weather the storm from all the increased contacts that we’ve had.”

Right now, “people are playing fast and loose with bubbles all over the place,” said Gardam. 

If you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick.– Michael Gardam, infectious disease physician, Women’s College Hospital

Instead, he says we need to rethink social bubbles now that school is in session again.

“We’re all going to have to pay the price because our kids are in school now. So what are we giving up?

“If you want to keep the restaurants open and bars, maybe you have to give up your private gatherings,” he said. “Because if you just increase in every dimension, if you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick.”

The actions taken in the next two weeks could change the trajectory of the months to come, said Laura Rosella, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health,

“There’s a lot of things with this pandemic that we can’t control, but we might be able to control who we interact with, especially socially, and who’s in our bubble,” said Rosella, who holds a PhD in epidemiology.

Laura Rosella, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said what Canadians can control is who is in their social bubbles. (CBC)

“I would encourage everyone to rethink what their bubbles are given the new situation, especially if something’s changed, if someone’s gone back to work, someone’s entering a school situation and especially if vulnerable people are in their bubbles.”

Rosella said her advice to Canadians is to “really think through what is absolutely necessary” when it comes to interactions with others.

More than a blip

Rosella said Canadians can’t afford to ignore the changes happening with COVID-19.

“We’re not in the August situation anymore. There’s clearly an uptick of cases,” said Rosella, “The fact that we’re already on that trajectory tells me that the likelihood of this being just a small blip, that we’re not going to notice and we can carry on, is pretty low.”

“We are going to experience a significant increase that we’re going to have to manage and react to. It could be worse if we do nothing. And if we act, we could minimize the impact of it.” 

Dr. Samir Gupta, a clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, said getting a handle on this COVID-19 surge means returning to restrictions implemented earlier in the pandemic.

Dr. Samir Gupta, a clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can’t afford to ‘sugar-coat’ the situation for Canadians. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Speaking with Heather Hiscox on CBC Morning Live Wednesday, Gupta said Canadians “need to start making similar sacrifices to the ones we made the first time around,” which was successful with flattening the curve in the spring.

Without enforcement, “we risk overwhelming our health-care system capacity … [and getting] into real trouble,” he said.

“We don’t want to have to turn people away and not be able to take care of people who are sick with this virus. And that’s the biggest risk we face.”

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30 of 42 new Manitoba COVID-19 cases are in Winnipeg, as more possible exposures announced – CBC.ca

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Winnipeg’s growing active COVID-19 caseload jumped again on Wednesday, when 30 of Manitoba’s 42 new cases of the illness were people who live in the capital city.

The update in a provincial news release came with a familiar plea to people living in or visiting Winnipeg: wash your hands, reduce the number of people you see from outside your household and stay home when sick.

There are now 418 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 335 of those — 80 per cent — in Winnipeg.

Wednesday’s update also came with more warnings about public places in Winnipeg that have had possible COVID-19 exposures. Several more bars and restaurants and a college are now among the places where people may have been exposed to the illness.

The new exposures include Earls restaurant in St. Vital (on Sept. 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.), Leopold’s Tavern in River Heights (on Sept. 15 from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.) and a trivia night at Wee Johnny’s Irish Pub in the Exchange District (on Sept. 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.).

Possible exposures were also announced at Local Public Eatery downtown (on Sept. 15 and 16, though no times were provided) after exposures were previously announced at the restaurant on Sept. 11 and 12. More information about possible public exposures is posted on the Manitoba government’s website.

Anyone who was at those places on the listed dates and times should watch for symptoms; if any develop, those people should immediately get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate, the release says.

Late Wednesday, the Winnipeg School Division said a cohort of students at Grant Park High School was in self-isolation as someone at the school had tested positive.

Health officials told the school division that the person did not contract the virus in the school and risk to other students is considered low, division spokesperson Radean Carter said in an email. 

One cohort at the school will begin self isolation while awaiting further instruction from public health, Carter said.

In a letter posted online, public health officials said the person was at the school on Sept. 15, 16 and 17 and that the affected class has been moved to remote learning.

A case of COVID-19 has also been linked to Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus in Winnipeg, the college said in an email to students on Wednesday afternoon.

The school got word from public health officials about the positive test on Wednesday, the message from chief human resource officer Melanie Gudmundson said. The person did not have symptoms while on campus, and the risk of further spread at the school is considered low, the email said.

One classroom has been closed for deep cleaning and disinfection, and everyone who was in that space on the day the sick person was there has been sent home, the email said.

Thirty of Manitoba’s 42 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday are in Winnipeg. Due to data revisions by Manitoba Health, the sum of new cases in this chart may not necessarily match daily figures announced by health officials. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

On top of the 30 cases in Winnipeg, an additional six of the new cases announced Wednesday are in the Southern Health region. A further three are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, two are in the Interlake-Eastern health region and the remaining one is in the Northern Health region, the news release says.

Manitoba’s COVID-19 test positivity rate — a five-day rolling average of the number of tests that come back positive — jumped to 2.2 per cent from 1.8 per cent on Tuesday, the release says.

There are 11 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Manitoba, including five people in intensive care. That’s up from eight people in hospital and two people in intensive care on Tuesday.

19th death confirmed Tuesday

A resident of Winnipeg’s Parkview Place care home has died of COVID-19, the company that runs the home confirmed on Tuesday. The person’s death, which was not included in the province’s update, was Manitoba’s 19th coronavirus-linked fatality.

A spokesperson for the province said public health doesn’t announce or comment on COVID-19 deaths until investigations are complete.

As of Tuesday, seven residents and one staff member at the Winnipeg care home had tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the outbreak at the Rideau Park Personal Care Home in Brandon, Man., is now over, the province’s release on Wednesday says.

The site has been moved down from critical red to caution yellow in the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

There are three more people in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba on Wednesday, all of whom are in intensive care. Due to data revisions by Manitoba Health, the sum of new cases in this chart may not necessarily match daily figures announced by health officials. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

To date, 1,674 cases of the illness have been identified in the province and 1,238 people have recovered.

Two other deaths linked to COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba on Monday

One was a woman linked to the outbreak at the Brandon Regional Health Centre’s Assiniboine Centre, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.

The other was a man connected to a communal living setting in the Southern Health region, Roussin said.

The number of confirmed cases of the illness linked to the outbreak at John Pritchard School in Winnipeg had reached 20 people, health officials said on Tuesday, nearly triple what it was a week earlier.

Twenty-one of the province’s 42 new COVID-19 on Wednesday are people under age 30, according to provincial data, including two under age 10. Due to data revisions by Manitoba Health, the sum of new cases in this chart may not necessarily match daily figures announced by health officials. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman urged the province to mandate face masks across the province on Tuesday, though he acknowledged the city could bring in the new rules in Winnipeg on its own.

Earlier this week, the province announced a partnership with Dynacare, a private testing lab, which is expected to more than double how many COVID-19 tests Manitoba can do.

On Tuesday, 1,703 more COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, bringing the total completed in the province to 170,045.

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