Your Health Can't WaitSep 16, 2020
Article by: Dr. Flagge who is a physician advisor for North Shore Medical Center
It is often said that “Life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans.”
COVID-19 made other plans for us. Obviously, the pandemic has changed everyone’s routines. Back in early March, it seemed we would be changing our habits for a couple of weeks or a month and then things would be “back to normal.” At that point, it seemed fine to delay our regular routines-such as doctors’ visits and any sort of non-urgent care.
However, those weeks have turned into months. Now, here we are months later with continued alteration of our lifestyles through social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoidance of large gatherings.
While it is certainly advised to take these safety measures in hope to avoid the spread of COVID-19, it is important not to neglect other health issues that you or your loved ones may have been putting off. The CDC notes there was a decrease in emergency room visits for heart attacks (23%), strokes (20%), and blood sugar crises associated with diabetes (10%) in the 10-weeks following the declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency. Heart attacks and strokes have not taken a vacation. High blood pressure and diabetes are among the leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke. A failure to monitor and manage said conditions could cause lasting and irreversible damage.
At North Shore Medical Center, protocols have been established an effort to isolate infected patients and reduce the risk to non-COVID-19 patients that are having necessary care in our facility. Testing for the virus in patients prior to elective procedures has become standard practice.
Fear of going to the emergency departments in the midst of dealing with the pandemic appears to be a key driving force in this decrease. If you or your loved ones feel sick or need healthcare treatment, do not delay in going to the Emergency Department to seek care and don’t put off taking care of health issues before they become worse. Life continues even with the disruption of COVID-19.