Patient Education and Resources
Whether you're looking for information about where to go for help if you're feeling unwell, or if you'd like to know more about signs and symptoms that are common for specific illnesses, this page may be helpful to you.
Health Care Options
When you are ill or injured, sometimes your family doctor (if you have one) may not be available or may not be the best option for the care that you require. This resource will help you determine where to go and when.
Here is a list of Transportation Resources that may be of assistance to you.
We have created some information sheets for patients managing the following conditions. The information is provided to patients as they prepare to be discharged. It helps them understand signs and symptoms to be aware of once they are home, and information about routine and lifestyle changes.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is when your heart is not pumping as well as it needs to and fluid ‘backs up’ into your body. Often it is seen as swelling in the lower legs called edema. This ‘pitting edema’ is different from swelling from an injury because when you press on it, your finger mark remains for a period of time and slowly goes away. It is very important that you are keeping track of any that you may have. This extra fluid can also back up into your lungs and make you feel very short of breath and unwell.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease in your lungs that makes it hard to breathe. The straw like airways have become damaged and more narrow than normal lungs and this can make you feel out of breath and tired even when doing simple tasks like walking to the mailbox and getting dressed. There is no cure for COPD and the disease gets worse over time, but there are treatments that will help slow it down. If you are a smoker, the best way to slow down the disease is to quit smoking right away.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source. High blood sugar levels can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.
A hip fracture is a break in a bone in or near your hip. This usually needs an operation to fix. Metal screws and plates are used to put the bones back together the right way and hold them there so they can heal. You will have a wound from the operation that you will need to keep clean and dry. It will take time and patience to get back to your normal activity level.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a disorder where breathing stops or ‘pauses’ during sleep. These ‘pauses’ in breathing are called apnea and happen when the muscles of the throat relax so much that they block the exchange of air. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine which is worn during sleep. It is important to bring your CPAP machine with you to hospital, especially if you are having a surgical procedure.
Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs. There is inflammation (swelling) in the lungs. The swelling can be in one or both lungs. It is often caused by a virus like the one that causes the common cold. When you have pneumonia, you will have a cough and may cough up thick yellow or green sputum (phlegm). You could also have a fever, shakes, and chills as your body attempts to fight off the sickness.
A stroke is when blood stops flowing to any part of your brain. This can happen because of a blood clot or bleeding in your brain. This loss of blood to the brain can cause damage that cannot be repaired or replaced. This damage causes loss of abilities. The type of abilities lost and how bad it is, depends on where in your brain the damage happened.
After surgery or any hospital stay
If you were recently admitted to the hospital because you were sick or injured, you may not be back to your normal self yet. There will likely be changes to how you feel and what you can do as you continue to heal at home. Please see below for information about when you should call your doctor or come back to the hospital.
Plan Well Guide
The Plan Well Guide is a tool to help you learn about medical treatments and prepare you for decision-making during a serious illness, by helping you communicate important values and preferences. It’s about getting the medical care that’s right for you or your loved one.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Not sure if you have the flu or a cold? Click here to learn the difference. Click here to learn more about symptoms and treatment of the flu (influenza). Flu spreads easily. Click here to learn how you can protect yourself and others by getting the flu shot.