Many states ordered hospitals to cancel elective procedures during the pandemic, but now that restrictions are being lifted, doctors are seeing people still afraid to seek treatment, even when they are facing life-threatening conditions like a heart attack or appendicitis.
The anxiety caused by fear of getting the virus, accompanied by the uncertainty of when there will be a vaccine or treatment widely available, can have a paralyzing effect on people, causing them to put off decisions that might seriously damage their health in the long-run. Couple that with the fact that they could be sequestered in a hospital room, unable to see friends and family if they were diagnosed with coronavirus, makes them even more apprehensive of going anywhere near a medical facility.
“People are saying, ‘So I’m having a heart attack. I’m going to stay home. I’m not going to die in that hospital,” said Dr. Marlene Millen, a University of California physician.
But safety measures have been put in place to deal with these issues, like testing of hospital workers, daily temperature checks of both staff and patients, wearing of masks and meticulous cleaning procedures.
So when should you go to the emergency room? Some of the symptoms you should seek immediate treatment for include trouble breathing, coughing up blood, dizziness, fainting, a sudden severe headache, slurred speech and drooping of one side of the body which could indicate a stroke. For a full list of symptoms that warrant a visit to the ER, go to Medline at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000593.htm.