Coronaviruses trying to infect a nasal cavity

The CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS HERE

Yes, the world has very quickly moved from a somewhat serene and mostly predictable course – to a panicked and uncertain reality through an international Pandemic.

At the NORTHWEST SURGICAL CLINIC, it is business as usual, and our hours of operation will remain unchanged. We remain committed to our patients and we will remain available to our patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To access our after hours information, please call our office at 403-247-9880 and listen carefully to our message, which contains instructions as to what to do to access after hours assessment and care. If you cannot access the after hours on call Nurses through 811, keep listening for instructions on how to contact our on call Doctor.

Our protocol for cleaning and sterilization of our office is as robust as it has ever been, with all door handles, surfaces and chairs getting sterilized every 30 minutes during the day. Our office has a positive pressure ventilation system that causes a net flow to move out of our office constantly from a fresh filtered source, instead of air being able to move in from multiple sources.

Patients at risk of travel or who are especially susceptible to infection due to frailty or being immunocompromised or who are on anti-rejection drugs or who are taking immunosuppressant medication, are all welcome to attend our office, which has always been and continues to maintain appropriate social distancing. Patients that remain anxious about leaving their homes are welcome to talk to our staff, who will do their best to make accommodations for them.

We ask that if it is possible, that you ask family members or friends who want to come to your appointment with you, to stay home if they can – or to wait for you in our expansive, modern and very well ventilated lobby.

Our protocols remain the same, and staff will make every effort to usher you to your patient consultation room with a minimum of waiting. We greatly appreciate your patience and support during this trying time, and we will make every effort to assist you with your needs.

Here is what you need to know:

  1. Don’t panic. Life goes on mostly as normal. You don’t need to hoard toilet paper of hand sanitizer. Most places that the public has to frequent will have hand sanitizer for you. And nobody will run out of toiletpaper. If they do – don’t shake hands with them. 😉
  2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds as often as you can. Use the paper towel or your sleeves to turn off the water and to open/close the room to any public washroom.
  3. If you’re not sick – don’t bother with a mask. Masks don’t prevent you from getting sick – at all. In fact, the velocity of the air you breathe in from the side of the masks is drastically increased, and can actually vacuum coronaviruses directly into your lungs. Only wear a mask if you’re sick – this catches the viruses that you may accidentally cough into the air. If you have to cough – do it into your elbow and not into your hand.
  4. Use Hand sanitizer. A lot. It’s everywhere, so don’t panic if you don’t have one. Also – if you have it, share it. We all have to get through this together.
  5. If you have symptoms of a cold or cough, please feel free to use the online assessment tool at Alberta Health for an analysis of your risk of Coronavirus infection. The tool can be located here.
  6. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk to our wonderful and caring staff. They deal with a lot, but they are always cheerful and happy to help you. And they always answer the phone (we don’t use any of those irritating automated robotic answering services – we like our humans).
  7. DON’T USE ASPIRIN OR IBUPROFEN/ADVIL (NSAID medication) for cold-like symptoms. Recent information on the terrible situation in Italy has revealed a very strong association of COVID-19 deaths to the use of these medications, possibly similar to Reye’s syndrome in Children who are given ASA for Chickenpox. If you need something – use Tylenol/Acetaminophen.
  8. Forget about travel. You can’t, so that’s not a difficult decision. But also try to keep aware of the importance of social distancing, and to not gather in groups of people more than 10 if you can avoid it.

We all have to work collectively to help this terrible pandemic pass. Some very smart people are working very hard on a vaccine that will be available in the next couple of years to ensure that a nightmare like this becomes an increasingly distant memory for all of us.

Thank-you.

The NORTHWEST SURGICAL CLINIC