All across the country, including in our region, people have been avoiding emergency rooms fearing they will be exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the number of patients visiting emergency rooms nationwide has dropped by 40 to 50 percent. These statistics mirror what we are seeing in Syracuse and across Central New York.
Your Safety is Our Top Priority
Our community needs to know that hospitals, including the ERs, have put in place rigorous safety and infection control measures to prevent the spread of infection, including screening patients at the door, requiring everyone to wear a mask, and isolating COVID-19 patients in separate, negative-pressure areas.
As AARP reports, “Getting to the hospital quickly is critical for patients suffering heart attacks or strokes, when heart muscle and brain cells can deteriorate by the minute.” Other serious conditions, from headaches to stomach aches, can also cause long-lasting damage if treatment is delayed.
Faster Treatment Means Better Outcomes
Older adults are especially at risk because they are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions that make putting off emergency care especially risky.
The American College of Cardiology recently began a national campaign alerting those with heart conditions to not delay treatment. People with any ‘red-flag’ symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, weakness, difficulty speaking, changes in vision, acute headache or abdominal pain that’s severe or does not resolve itelf after a few hours need to call 911 and get to an emergency room.
The bottom line: Do not be afraid to go to the Emergency Department. Dangerous, life-threatening consequences can result if prompt care is delayed.
Crouse News is reported by members of our Communications Team.