COVID-19 is placing stress on Canada's public health system. Our clinic is starting to offer virtual care to make sure that we can continue to care for our patients safely and effectively. This means that we will be using video and audio technologies for some patient visits rather than asking all patients to come into our office. Some of these technologies are provided by the Province. Others have been provided by vendors like Google, or Apple to help make discussions with your care provider as easy as possible during these difficult times. Some health concerns can be addressed with virtual care alone, but in some cases your doctor may ask you to visit a hospital or other health care facility if necessary, for a physical examination.

We do our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual care visits is private and secure, but no video or audio tools are ever completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using video or audio communications tools. To help us keep your information safe and secure, you can:

Understand that emails, calls, or texts you receive are not secure in the same way as a private appointment in an exam room.

Use a private computer/device (i.e., not an employer's or third party's computer/device), secure accounts, and a secure internet connection. For example, using a personal and encrypted email account is more secure than an unencrypted email account, and your access to the Internet on your home network will generally be more secure than an open guest Wi-Fi connection.

You should also understand that electronic communication is not a substitute for in-person communication or clinical examinations, where appropriate, or for attending the Emergency Department when needed (including for any urgent care that may be required).

If you are concerned about using video or audio tools for virtual care, you can ask our office to arrange for you to visit a different healthcare provider or other health care center where you can be seen in person. However, please note that visiting a health care provider in person comes with a higher risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 and the possibility of spreading the virus.

By providing your information, you agree to let us collect, use, or disclose your personal health information through video or audio communications (while following applicable privacy laws) in order to provide you with care. In particular, the following means of electronic communication may be used (identify all that apply): email, videoconferencing (including Skype, Facetime, etc.), text messaging (including instant messaging), website/portal, OnCall.

April 1, 2020

A note to our patients. We have suspended all in-office visits at this time due to COVID 19. However, if you have an appointment currently booked with our office you will receive a call 2 days prior to that appointments. We will advise you how we will be able to proceed. Wishing you and your family safety and vitality during this challenging time.

If you need a renewal your prescriptions during the COVID-19 #stayathome period, please have your pharmacy fax your renewal request. Our fax number is 905-639-7647. Be well!

Update About Our Office During This Outbreak of Corona Virus : March 15, 2020

On the advice of the Ministry of Health we are changing our office protocols to ensure minimization of risk to our patients and our staff.

Starting the week of March 16, 2020 we will try to change as many patients visits as we can to virtual electronic visits. Initially most will be by phone. There are some patients who have already made arrangements to come to the office and, if they do, we will see them, once again minimizing risks by using frequent hand washing and minimized personal contact.

For the majority of scheduled patients we will set up visits through OnCall Health. One of the problems with phone visits is that each person requires individualized attention and some visits unexpectedly may take longer than others. We will make every effort to keep on schedule but at times we may be delayed.

Dr Lawrence Komer
Medical Director
The Komer Clinics

COVID-19 Annoucement | Office Updates

bigstock_Emergency_Medical_Services_9137810

The brain can be damaged in different ways. These include infection, tumor, stroke or chemicals, and drugs. However, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as brain damage caused suddenly by an external force.

The adult brain weighs about 3 pounds. It has the consistency of dried peanut butter being both soft and fragile. Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds the brain nourishing and protecting it. The bony skull also protects the brain. However, the interior of the skull has bony ridges that can cause brain damage when the brain is hit by a force that slams it into the skull. Impact to the head that creates rotation can trigger more damage than a direct blow.
Penetrating head injuries occur when an object such as a bullet enters the brain causing damage to a specific area. Closed head injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, or in a collision sport, can also cause damage. This type of damage often injures a more diffuse area.

TBIs can result in brain bruising, bleeding within the brain, tears or lacerations of the brain, and damage to nerves caused by shearing forces (known as diffuse axonal injury). Diffuse axonal injury to the area of the pituitary gland may be responsible for hormonal changes seen in a traumatic brain injury.

Concussions described as a “mild” traumatic brain injury is not life threatening. However, the term “mild” can be very misleading in that the initial damage may appear minor even though the long-term effects may be more serious, or even life threatening.

Estimates are that 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries occur each year in the United States, leading to 1 million hospital emergency visits. Traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe, based on the individual’s condition at the time of the injury. About 75% of TBIs are categorized as be mild.

With a mild TBI, there may be no visible injury. Even brain imaging (x-rays, CT scans, MRI) shows no brain damage or is inconclusive. With moderate or severe TBIs, there is typically a loss of consciousness, disorientation or confusion, with neurological signs and changes on a CT scan or MRI. Assessments of these more extreme TBIs are to rule out life-threatening problems such as tearing or bleeding within the brain, or acute swelling. Swelling can cause increased intracranial pressure, breathing difficulties, spasm of blood vessels, lack of oxygenation to the brain, and abnormal heart rate patterns (called cardiac arrhythmias).

Someone who is struck in a car accident, or who falls to the pavement, may injure the brain both at the point of impact and on the opposite side of the brain as well (known as coup-contra-coup injury). This happens inside the brain as it is initially forced forward to the point of impact on the skull and then as it rebounds off the other side of the skull. This injury can cause very diffuse damage because of the tearing effect on the brain, as it moves back and forth within the skull. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) classifies the severity of a TBI. It rates the person’s level of consciousness on the scale of 3 to 15 measuring verbal, motor and eye-opening reactions to stimuli. In general, GCS levels of 13 to 15 are classified as mild TBIs, 9 to 12 are moderate and 8 or below are severe. PTSD and a TBI frequently occur together. Among patients hospitalized previously for TBI, somewhere between 35% and 80% have histories of substance abuse, with alcohol being the most abused substance. TBIs are linked to homelessness, panic attacks and anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, domestic violence, suicide, and incarceration.

Recent figures suggest that 1 million US troops that suffer from TBIs are in jail (perhaps from bad decisions caused by the TBI), and 40 commit suicide each day. A study from Toronto, Ontario showed that42% of men and 58% of homeless women in that city had significant traumatic brain injuries before becoming homeless. TBIs are not only a health issue for the people who suffer them. They impact families, the workplace, and society as a whole.

Phone: 905-639-2571
Fax: 905-639-7647
Cedar Springs Medical Professional Centre 960 Cumberland Ave. Suite E
Burlington, ON Canada L7N 3J6