Precautions Surgical Centers Are Making During COVID-19

Precautions Surgical Centers Are Making During COVID-19

The operations at non-urgent surgical centers across Canada and the US all came to a halt for surgeries deemed elective back in March and early April.  Most of them are slowly resuming surgeries, and they are taking even further measures to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

Outpatient surgical centers in Canada and the US have always had very strict guidelines on how to keep their patients safe.  Infection rate is something that is actually tracked so the cleanliness of these facilities has always been a priority.  To further enhance this protocol, areas outside the operating room, such as countertops, faucets and sinks, and/or waiting areas, are now being cleaned at least twice a day.

To further prevent exposure, most facilities have required a mandatory COVID-19 test prior to surgery, unless it is something emergent and there is no time to check for this.  A health screening questionnaire is required 1 day prior to surgery and most are repeating it on the day of surgery.  If you fail the questionnaire, then the surgery will be rescheduled.  

Many facilities ask that you wait in your car and call you when they are ready for you to enter.  Drivers and visitors are prevented or limited in staying at the facility in the waiting room.  An exception might be if the surgery is for a child, however, the parent would be subject to the same protocols and health screening questionnaires as the patient.  The nurse or surgeon contact your companion after the surgery is done to let them know how the surgery went and will give them another call once the patient is ready to be discharged. 

Increased safety measures for the staff have also been implemented.  Many facilities are requiring temperature checks of all employees prior to working their shift.  All staff, including administration, are to wear face coverings and make sure any persons in the building are maintaining social distance.  

Each facility will vary on what protocols they are taking as some states and provinces have specific guidelines that must be followed.  If you are scheduling a private surgery through Health Vantis, we can provide the details on what that facility is doing to further keep you safe.  

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

The Effects of Waiting for Surgery Amid COVID-19

The Effects of Waiting for Surgery Amid COVID-19

It has been reported through a recent study that over 28 million surgeries around the world could be cancelled during the 12 week peak of COVID-19.  It estimated an additional 2.4 million cancellations would happen for each extra week of shutdowns.  The backlog could take 45 weeks or longer to catch up.  This number could become longer depending on the length of time it takes for countries to open back up as well as a possible second wave this fall.

While the cancellations were necessary, they will have a substantial impact to the patient.  Anytime you delay a necessary surgery, you put your overall health and quality of life at risk.  This includes non-essential surgeries such as a hip replacement or spine surgery.   These may be deemed non-urgent, however, the more time that goes by before having a necessary surgery, the more likely you become disabled.  

Canada has always had a wait list for many kinds of surgeries.  The impact of the pandemic is still unknown.  We do know that it will likely create not only a financial burden, but could create increased health issues as well.

Some of the effects from waiting for your surgery in Canada can be:

  • Loss in wages.  It is estimated in Canada that prior to COVID-19, the amount of wages lost in 2019 was about $2.1 billion.  This equates to an average of $1,963 for each of the estimated 1 million + Canadians waiting for treatment.  With the shutdowns and delayed surgeries, it is now estimated this grows to $6.4 billion in lost wages or $5,972 per person.
  • Increased chance of making the medical condition or the injury worse. If a doctor determined surgery is needed for your condition, it is most likely the case.  Waiting to have the surgery varies greatly depending on what needs done.  Something deemed non-essential, such as an orthopedic surgery, can result in issues with long term, non-reversible effects if not dealt with in a reasonable amount of time.  
  • Increase chance of opioid dependency.  Being in pain can sometimes require a prescription pain medication.  While opioids have recently been limited, they are still being given on the short-term.  The longer you are on these, the higher chance you have of developing an addiction.  
  • Depression.  It’s safe to say that if you are in pain, your mood can change quickly.  Being in constant pain can not only drain your motivation and spirit, it can also cause you become immobile.  This is never good for your health, let alone mental health.  The frustration of not being able to feel well and inability to live your life as you’d like can cause you to slip into a depression.

If you find yourself in a position where you cannot wait any longer, give us a call.  We have several private options back open and available to do your surgery.  You can reach us at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

June 2020 Newsletter

To Mask or Not to Mask?

Back on May 20th, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam made the announcement that she was recommending Canadians wear a face mask/covering where physical distancing wasn’t possible.  Wearing face masks is not something Westerners are used to.  It’s almost a stigma to have one on, however, in East Asia and China, there is no shame in wearing a face mask.  In fact, it has been going on there since the pneumonic plague in 1910 and is seen as a sign of civic responsibility to do so.  If someone is seen not wearing a face mask during a public health emergency, it is greatly frowned upon and people are actually afraid of that person because they would be considered to have low civic responsibility and disrespect.

Now that things are slowly opening up, we will be exposed to more human contact than we’ve had in the past 2 months.  Social distancing is a new term for us and we are still trying to understand what is acceptable and what is not.  Based on what Dr. Tam has suggested, if you are not able to distance yourself in a situation where you will have 2 meters space, then the recommendation is to wear a non-surgical face mask.  An example would be if you routinely take the train to work.  You cannot guarantee you will be able to keep a 2 meter distance with someone else.  In a situation like this, it makes sense to wear a covering.  If you take your own car to work, you would not need to wear your mask as you were driving.

COVID-19 is a new virus.  We are learning more and more about each day.  We already know you can be asymptomatic.  Even though you feel well, you may be a carrier without even realizing it.  By wearing a face mask in situations where there will be close contact with others, the chances of spreading it are decreased significantly on both ends.  Not only are you protecting yourself, you are also protecting the more vulnerable such as a senior or immunosuppressed individual.  While it is not mandatory, it does show that you are willing to make a difference in combating this virus and are respectful of others around you.  Plus, it is a temporary inconvenience and there are some pretty cool looking face masks being made out there!

What Are The Health Benefits To The Approaching Summer?

We can feel the sun on our face and it brings excitement and joy every time we realize that summer is almost here.  It is by far our favorite season.  Being able to shed winter layers for flip flops and shorts is what I look forward to every single year.  Some of the great things about summer are of the many.  High on that list are the health benefits it offers.  Below we have shared some of those:

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Doesn’t it seem like we associate winter with heavy, comfort food?  But when summer approaches and we start to shed the extra layers, heavy meals suddenly don’t seem as appetizing but the colorful fruits and vegetables do. That is because the summer heat drives our hunger down as our bodies do not need to expend as much energy to keep us warm.  It tells our minds we only need something lighter to sustain us.

Fruits and vegetable look so much more vibrant in the summer.  I am more apt to grab a piece of fruit as a snack now than I would in the winter based on esthetics alone.  It’s also time for the local Farmer’s Market’s to open back up with local vendors presenting their organic, wholesome, fresh food.  While some are open during the winter, the summer months present more excitement and color.

More Opportunities for Exercise

There is nothing worse than sitting behind a desk and staring outside to the beautiful sun shinning, envious of those out there enjoying it.  The sluggish feeling of winter fades and we are suddenly energized making us more productive, even at work.  This also affects the way we exercise.

People naturally want to be outside.  Summer gives us more options on how and where to exercise.   Not everyone is a gym rat.  That can seem like a daunting, monotonous task but summer opens doors to activities that people love to do.  Things like gardening, mowing the lawn, hiking/walking, riding a bike, playing a game or sport with our children/grandchildren or swimming.  And what happens when you are in the sun and exercise or work outside?  You sweat!  Sweating detoxifies your body, which is another excellent health benefit.

More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in our body for optimal health.  It strengthens our immune system, can play a role in cancer prevention, strengthens our bones, speeds up metabolism and improves the overall emotional health.  The easiest way to get a significant amount of Vitamin D is through the sun.  We are meant to get 80% there and only 20% through diet.  When exposed to the sun, our Vitamin D is replenished and stored.

Over the years, with more awareness of the dangers of too much sun, we have been taught to block the rays out with sun screen.  People are also working more hours keeping them indoors and shielded them from the rays.  Due to this, many now suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.

Having a Vitamin D deficiency can cause you to have bone pain, muscle cramps, stooped posture, loss in height and weakness and tingling.  During the summer months it is easier to store up on your Vitamin D.  We wouldn’t suggest you to disregard the yields to applying sun screen, but newer research has shown that exposing your body to a little bit of sunshine can actually be good for you.

Overall Feel Good Attitude

Have you ever wondered why you instantly feel good when you see the sun?  That is because it boosts your level of serotonin, which is the body’s natural happy hormone. Summer time offers us longer days and more opportunity for the sun to shine.  Having the extra daylight gives us more time to be outside and possibly get outdoor exercise in.  This can produce the happy endorphins more so than if you exercised indoors.  Regular sun has also been known to halt moderate depression.  There are individuals that have an illness called Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), which is normally present during the fall and winter months.  Once summer arrives, it magically disappears.

Vacation!

Nothing rejuvenates your spirit and mental health like a vacation.  Taking a vacation, whether it’s a quick 3-4 day weekend get-away or a week off, can be beneficial to your overall well-being.  Summer presents more time for people to take time off work and spend it with their families.  Studies have shown over and over that stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.  Making the time to take a vacation not only gives you a break from the normal stressors of daily life but it can strengthen your relationships by spending quality time together.

Summer is often a short lived season in Canada.  Make the most of it by watching less TV, putting the devices down and getting outside to explore all of the wonderful things available to us. A little bit of sunshine can go a long way!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of our favorite men out there!  In light of Father’s Day, Canada also celebrates Canadian Men’s Health Week (June 15-21st)  This is a time to focus on challenges men have regarding healthy lifestyles.  To find out more, visit the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation: https://menshealthfoundation.ca/campaigns/menshealthweek/

Precautions Airlines Will Be Taking Amid COVID-19

Precautions Airlines Will Be Taking Amid COVID-19

The airline industry came to an abrupt halt back in March due to the pandemic.  As things slowly open back up, many people are still leery about flying as they do not want to expose themselves to the COVID-19 virus.  The airlines recognize this and have all started to implement more safety measures to reduce the chances of passing or acquiring the virus.

Many airlines have announced they will continue to block middle seats in rows where people are not traveling together.  On smaller planes they will block the isle seats.  Even with blocked seats, it is still difficult to remain 6 feet away from others.  Airlines, such as Jet Blue, are also requiring passengers ages 2 and older to wear face masks or scarves during the flight.

United Airlines announced a recent partnership with Clorox Co to enhance their cleaning processes.  They have also consulted with the Cleveland Clinic as to how best keep their passengers safe during their flight while the pandemic continues and are following their direction.

Before the flight, some airlines will provide you with a wrapped sanitizer wipe for you to clean your hands prior to boarding.  Air Canada announced they would be taking temperatures. The snack bags will also come with a sanitizing wipe and some airlines have discontinued beverage services on shorter flights.  Jet Blue will have your snack and a bottled water already in your seat on flights 90 minutes or longer.

Most check in counters now have sneeze guards, ie. plexiglass, between you and the airline clerk as well as touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check in.  All crew and other employees are required to wear face coverings.  

The airline industry is such a vital part of most peoples lives and it appears they are doing what they can to make safety a top priority.  While the measures will not be 100% fool proof, it will certainly reduce your chances of contracting the virus while you fly.  

Health Vantis

info@healthvantis.com

877-344-3544

www.healthvantis.ca

To Mask or Not to Mask?

To Mask or Not to Mask?

Back on May 20th, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam made the announcement that she was recommending Canadians wear a face mask/covering where physical distancing wasn’t possible.  Wearing face masks is not something Westerners are used to.  It’s almost a stigma to have one on, however, in East Asia and China, there is no shame in wearing a face mask.  In fact, it has been going on there since the pneumonic plague in 1910 and is seen as a sign of civic responsibility to do so.  If someone is seen not wearing a face mask during a public health emergency, it is greatly frowned upon and people are actually afraid of that person because they would be considered to have low civic responsibility and disrespect.  

Now that things have opened up, we will be exposed to more human contact than we’ve had in the past several months.  Social distancing is a new term for us and we are still trying to understand what is acceptable and what is not.  Based on what Dr. Tam has suggested, if you are not able to distance yourself in a situation where you will have 2 meters space, then the recommendation is to wear a non-surgical face mask.  An example would be if you routinely take the train to work.  You cannot guarantee you will be able to keep a 2 meter distance with someone else.  In a situation like this, it makes sense to wear a covering.  If you take your own car to work, you would not need to wear your mask as you were driving.

COVID-19 is a new virus.  We are learning more and more about it each day.  We already know you can be asymptomatic.  Even though you feel well, you may be a carrier without even realizing it.  By wearing a face mask in situations where there will be close contact with others, the chances of spreading it are decreased significantly on both ends.  Many states in the US and provinces here in Canada have already enforced a mandate to wear one.  Not only are you protecting yourself, you are also protecting the more vulnerable such as a senior or immunosuppressed individual.  This shows that you are willing to make a difference in combating this virus and are respectful of others around you.  Plus, it is a temporary inconvenience and there are some pretty cool looking face masks being made out there!

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com