THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Fear of COVID-19 is preventing some people from getting medical help for critical conditions like strokes and heart attacks, experts say.
In the first months of the pandemic, doctors at Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center saw a 50% drop in the number of patients going to the emergency room with serious illnesses.
Although those numbers are starting to rise, patients need to understand that hospitals provide safe care and prompt treatment is essential to prevent death and disability, doctors say.
“COVID-19 is of great concern – and you should be concerned about it because it is very serious – but you are 10 times more likely to die from an untreated heart attack than from COVID-19,” said Dr Chad Zack , interventional cardiologist at the Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute.
“Other things that worry us would be sudden cardiac arrest at home, symptoms of short and long term heart failure, and even delayed complications that may be associated with a heart muscle rupture or valvular heart disease. acute, “Zack said in a press release from the center.
Classic symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, tightness in the chest, and pain in the chest or arms that radiate to the neck or jaw. Some people may experience nausea, abdominal pain, or even shortness of breath.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly if you have a history of heart disease, we urge you to call 911 and be seen promptly – especially if symptoms persist for more than 15 minutes,” Zack said. .
With stroke, prompt medical care is also essential, said Dr. Ray Reichwein, neurologist and co-director of the Penn State Stroke Center.
“A number of people who have milder symptoms may feel like they’re going to do it at home. Said Reichwein.
“I encourage everyone that it is essential, even with milder symptoms, to get checked out and find out why this has happened and hopefully change the management so that they do not. not end up with a subsequent and disabling stroke, ”he added.
Hospitals are working hard to protect patients and staff from the coronavirus. When patients arrive at most hospitals, they are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and isolated if they have any. This means that you are unlikely to come into contact with someone who has the virus.
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