The Health and Wellness Expo event is held annually at the 55+ Centre. This event provided an opportunity for the general public to learn about many areas of health and wellness. The Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network, partnering with Superior North Emergency Medical Services participated in this fair with an interactive approach.
Keli Cristofaro, Stroke Community Engagement Specialist and Marika Listenmaa, Superintendent, Professional Standards (Acting), Superior North Emergency Medical Services collaborated to develop an interactive display booth with the theme: “Act FAST and Calling 911”. We saw this event as an opportunity to impact the proportion of stroke/TIA patients who drive themselves or have family/friends drive them in to hospital instead of calling 911. The North West LHIN has a low proportion of stroke/TIA patients calling 911 compared to the rest of the province. We want people to understand that upon recognizing they are experiencing stroke like symptoms, the best thing they can do for themselves is to call 911 as the EMS team will provide them with brain saving care that will reduce time to treatment and improve outcomes.
“We want people to understand that upon recognizing they are experiencing stroke like symptoms, the best thing they can do for themselves is to call 911 as the EMS team will provide them with brain saving care that will reduce time to treatment and improve outcomes.”
The participants were asked two questions: “Do they know the signs of stroke” and “Would they call 911 or drive themselves to the hospital?”
The interactive nature of the booth interested and challenged the participants. The interactive component involved guessing times for a car or ambulance to travel from various locations to the ED at TBRHSC. Another section of the display involved participants learning about and understanding all the “behind steps” that happen when EMS is activated. Our message to the public is to call 911 as EMS is part of their health care team and they can provide them with brain saving care that will reduce time to treatment and improve outcomes. If participants engaged with our questions and display they were rewarded with a winner’s medal to wear symbolizing that they consider themselves a priority and that they would access the local EMS to optimize their stroke care.
For more information visit www.nwostroke.ca