Since the end of the first COVID-19 surge in the U.S., doctors have seen the devastating impact of avoiding health care for serious conditions and emergencies.
“If you’re having a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, it is vital to seek medical care immediately,” says Dr. Jaime Hope, Beaumont emergency medicine. “If doctors can intervene within minutes or hours, the damage might be reversible. However, untreated for several hours or days, the damage from these conditions will likely be permanent.”
Call 911 or head to the closest emergency center for:
- numbness/weakness in your face and/or body (signs of a stroke)
- chest pain, pressure, heaviness, tightness (signs of a heart attack)
- shortness of breath that interferes with your activities or sleep
- severe pain
- broken bones, cuts and other injuries
In addition to emergency situations, avoiding routine check-ups and screenings can have a negative impact on people with pre-existing conditions such as:
- neurologic disorders
- other chronic conditions that need frequent management
“By avoiding regular care and getting sicker, people become more vulnerable to catching and having severe consequences from COVID-19 if they are exposed to it,” adds Dr. Hope.