Seasonal Rx: Wash your hands, call 811

The holidays may mean festivities, family gatherings, and gift giving, but many people this time of the year receive gifts they really don’t want: All that close contact contributes to the transmission of various seasonal viruses, including influenza and gastroenteritis, and Laval’s Integrated Centre for Health and Social Services (CISSS) is reminding residents that regular hand washing and home care are the best ways to reduce their spread and avoid emergency room visits.

According to the CISSS, 40% of emergency room visits are cases that can be treated outside the emergency room, and there are several options are available to Lavallois to meet quickly with a doctor without having to wait in the hospital ER.

One of these options is to contact Info-Santé at 811 to speak with a nurse 24/7. Only 11% of these calls are directed to the emergency room. Instead, users receive advice based on their health status and can be referred to a doctor at a clinic.

Influenza vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and it is still possible to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

If you are experiencing an emergency, it is recommended that you call Info-Santé and speak with a nurse: Depending on your situation, they will inform you if you need to go to the emergency room.

Contact your clinic for an emergency appointment, or contact one of Laval’s six super-clinics: GMF Concorde: 450-667-5310; GMF Laval: 450-661-2521; GMF Chomedey: 450-687-6452; GMF Sainte-Dorothée: 450-689-6334; GMF Fabreville: 450-628-5800; GMF Sainte-Rose: 450-622-5110.

You can also make an online appointment now with your family doctor or other health care professional at: Quebec.ca/rvsq. The service is free and is available 24/7. Note: your doctor must be registered in the system to access online appointment scheduling.

The Suburban tried, but could not schedule an online appointment on the RVSQ platform for a minor emergency appointment at a clinic within 20 km and within 10 days.

You can also contact any other health professional, such as your local pharmacist, who knows your condition and has already treated you for a similar situation.

Schedules for walk-in medical clinics, flu vaccination, scans and health advice are available at www.lavalensante.com/en-cas-durgence

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