June 5, 2021
Congratulations to Rideau Crossings’ Dr. Suzanne Rutherford on receiving the Inspiring Women Physicians Award from Canadian Women in Medicine!
Dr. Rutherford was recognized for her leadership in the fight against COVID-19 and her contribution to improving the health and wellness of women physicians across Canada through the creation of the Canadian Women Physicians Fitness Challenge!
April 7, 2021
In recent days, we have been receiving calls about concerns of blood clots with the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine, as well as questions regarding the time lag between first and second doses for all vaccines.
Here is what we currently know:
- Get the first vaccine made available to you – Waiting for your ‘preferred’ vaccine risks potentially getting COVID-19 and associated illness. To best protect yourself and others, we agree that the best COVID-19 vaccine is the one that reaches your arm first. All COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are highly effective in preventing sever illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
There have been very rare cases of unusual blood clots accompanied by low levels of blood platelets (elements in the blood that help it to clot) after AZ vaccination – Health Canada has assessed the data on reported events and determined that the AZ vaccine has not been associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots. Also, after a review of the 20 million AZ vaccinations completed so far in Europe and the United Kingdom, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which evaluates drug safety, has said that AZ is a safe and effective vaccine and the benefits of the vaccine in protecting people from COVID-19 outweigh the risks of side effects. The EMA advises patients should be aware of the remote possibility of such syndromes and should seek immediate medical attention and mention their vaccination if symptoms occur after getting the vaccine. Signs to watch for include:
o pain in chest or stomach
o swelling or coldness in an arm or leg
o severe or worsening headache, particularly beyond 3 days after vaccination, or blurred vision after vaccination
o persistent bleeding
o multiple small bruises, reddish or purplish spots, or blood blisters under the skin
- The 16-week interval time between doses is intended to protect more Ontarians, more quickly. Due to still limited supply, all second doses for the 2-dose vaccines in Canada have now been moved up to a maximum of 16 weeks to ensure more people can receive the first dose of the vaccine. This decision was made by Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health based on recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
- It will take some time to vaccinate everyone. Please continue to follow public health guidance of wearing a mask, physical distancing, avoiding crowded places, and washing your hands to protect yourself and your loved ones, especially as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.
Please see the attached link for a great FAQ section: (right click to open)
Our clinic remains accessible to you, by phone, by video or in person, as needed. And we will continue to provide you with information and answer your questions about the vaccines and their availability when we have those details.
Rideau Crossing Family Health Centre Physicians
Here is what we are doing:
- Continue to be available to patients via the phone and portal. Your patience is appreciated.
- Extending in-person visits by invitation only. If after a virtual visit with your provider, they feel it is necessary to have an in-clinic visit, they will arrange an appointment for you. This will be a gradual progression over the next few months.
- Continuing with telephone/secure video for initial visit. Your physician will address your healthcare concern and assess if an in-person visit is required.
- Managing risk through COVID-19 risk assessment. This has been implemented between staff and providers as well as before each visit with a patient.
- Limiting number of people. We will continue to limit the number of people at each visit. Only the patient, one parent of a minor under 16 and caregiver if required will be allowed at each visit.
- Implementing a universal mask policy. All in person appointments will require the patient to wear a mask. We are asking that if you have a home-made mask to bring that with you to your appointment.
- Limiting wait times in clinic. In order to facilitate physical distancing, we will be asking all patients to wait in their vehicles until their scheduled appointment times. If a cell number was provided, we may call you to advise you of your turn. If you do not have access to a cell phone, you will be requested to wait in your vehicle until any persons at the clinic entrance have passed through, only then, should you approach the clinic.
- Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting. All clinical and public spaces. We ask that patients refrain from touching any surfaces inside the clinic.
- Installing physicial barriers. You will notice the reception area has been outfitted with a physical barrier.
Your help is needed to expand our services safely. We ask:
- Wear a mask or other face-covering to your in-person visit. We continue to experience a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment for our medical and administrative team members.
- Come to your appointment alone. If required, you may be accompanied by one caregiver or one parent where the patient is a minor.
- Comply with all COVID-19 screening. Please work with our staff and Public Health screening guidelines to keep our patients, physicians and health care team safe. You will receive instructions when your appointment is booked.
- Cleanse your hands upon arrival and departure of the clinic. We will request that you refrain from touching any surface within the clinic. You will be escorted to your examination room and again to the door once your appointment is finished.
- Follow signs and directions from staff. Please ensure directions around capacity and physical distancing are followed at all times.
- Don’t wait to address your health care needs. Our clinic remains open and our physicians are here to help you. Emergency rooms are open and ready to treat any emergent medical needs.
Most of our appointments will continue to be by telephone or video for the foreseeable future. We are not offering routine care at this time. Please follow guidelines provided to you by your physician or staff member as this process remains fluid. While we appreciate you may prefer to see your provider in person, we need to expand in-person visits gradually and with great consideration and responsibility ensuring we follow all guidelines.
To protect other patients, our staff, and our doctors, we ask that you please CALL first and we will provide direction from there.
Due to the inability to screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry into the clinic, the Saturday Walk In Clinics are cancelled until further notice.
Self Assessment Tool – https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment
ALERTS – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updated March 16, 2019
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is actively monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and is in close contact with the World Health Organization and provinces to assess the situation and any potential risk to Canadians. At this time PHAC has assessed the risk as low for Canada and for Canadian travellers.
As with other viruses of this nature, transmission is thought to occur via respiratory droplets.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
If you are experiencing a cough, fever and or shortness of breath and have recently travelled internationally or within Canada at a site where there has been community spread, PHAC asks that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada.
If you have these symptoms, please call Telehealth 1-866-797-0000 or Leeds Grenville, Lanark Public Health 613-345-5685.
However, as a reminder, Public Health always recommends everyday steps to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS WITH RED AND WHITE HEALTH CARDS
Now is the time to apply for a photo health card!
If you still use a red and white health card, it’s time to easily replace it with the more secure photo health card.
Doing so will help protect Ontario’s health care system against potential fraud. As of July 1, 2020, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted as proof of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage for insured health services.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Bring the right documents. Bring your red and white health card and three separate documents – one from each of the following categories:
- proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status, such as a Canadian passport, Canadian birth certificate or permanent resident document
- proof of residency in Ontario, such as a driver’s licence
- proof of identity, such as a credit card or utility bill
- Download, print and complete a Health Card Re-Registration Form
- bring this to a Service Ontario centre
- Visit a Service Ontario centre near you
- you can book an appointment at some Service Ontario centres
If you have a valid address on file, you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to switch to a photo health card. If you get a letter, please follow the instructions in it. All red and white card holders must make the switch before July 1, 2020.
What I need to know about Tick Bites: lyme-disease
Please take note of some important changes:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, PHONES WILL BE ANSWERED
FROM 8:30AM TO 12 NOON AND FROM 1PM TO 4PM
Patients walking in to book appointments prior to 8:30 am, will be asked to wait until 8:30 to ensure fair access to all patients.