‘TIS the season for sleighbells, mistletoe, lights and gifts, but also for falls, mishaps and busy emergency departments. Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) launched a winter care campaign on Tuesday to help keep people safe and sound over the holidays.
The campaign shares helpful tips to get people through the winter season safely at www.vch.ca/wintercare and via VCH’s social media channels – @vchhealthcare for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and @vch.healthtok for TikTok – on a variety of topics including how to seek care over the busy holiday season, where to go for specific health services and how to prevent injuries that could put you in the hospital.
The messages of the campaign include: it’s safe to seek care at our hospitals and health facilities, there are many options to seek care over the holidays and to avoid injuries, especially slips and falls, in the first place.
Health care settings continue to be safe places for patients. VCH staff and medical staff are prepared and have enhanced safety protocols in place to ensure any patient that comes to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms poses a limited risk to others. If you have a scheduled appointment, diagnostic test, medical procedure or day-to-day health care needs, it’s safe to access health care services.
For non-life-threatening conditions and health concerns there are many options for care over the holidays including speaking with your family doctor or care provider, visiting an Urgent and Primary Care Centre, walk-in clinics or by calling HealthLink BC at 811. If you require an urgent medication refill, speak with your pharmacist, who may be able to provide an emergency refill. Additional information and resources are available at www.vch.ca/wintercare.
If you have a critical or life-threatening condition such as a major injury, trouble breathing, symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, loss of consciousness or severe bleeding, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. Do not delay seeking emergency care.
Finally, preventing injury is an important way to avoid needing medical attention or a trip to the emergency department. While the holidays are time for celebration and outdoor activities, the Winter Care webpage offers practical tips for avoiding slips and falls and other injuries common during the winter.
The winter care campaign was created in partnership with the Divisions of Family Practice, Providence Health Care, Doctors of BC, the BC Pharmacy Association and LifeLabs. Visit www.vch.ca/wintercare for a safe and healthy winter season.