Coronavirus fears preventing some from getting medical help in emergencies
Some heart attack and stroke patients are afraid of contracting COVID-19 by going to the hospital
FARGO, N.D. — Although the pandemic has impacted almost all aspects of our lives, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed.
“We know that COVID-19 isn’t preventing heart attacks from happening,” says Chrissy Meyer with the American Heart Association.
Heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies are still happening in our community.
The main difference? Fear of contracting COVID-19 is pushing some patients to stay home when they should be heading to the emergency room.
“Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, does not mean that you should stop calling 911 for emergencies in medical situations,” she says. “It’s still very vital if it’s an emergency, you need to call 911.”
Meyer says that 911 call could be the difference between life and death.
“What we’re seeing is a lot of fatalities that probably could be prevented, if people had just sought treatment earlier.”
Those at the American Heart Association say when it comes to treating cardiac emergencies, time is of the essence.
“Time is brain, time is muscle, and so often times, in the treatment of heart attacks and strokes, fast treatment is what really, really can make the difference.”
Getting quick treatment is vital, but preventative measures are also important.
“Make sure you’re eating healthy. Make sure you’re getting exercise,” says Meyer. “And also, make sure that you’re finding ways to get more sleep, to be mindful of your stress and your mental health and well-being. We know that all of that is tied to your heart health as well.”
Most importantly, experts urge patients to not be afraid to seek medical help when needed.
She says, “Everyone should call 911. Everyone should seek treatment, regardless of your fears of COVID-19.”
According to the American Heart Association, the symptoms for a heart attack can vary widely.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense.
Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.
Some symptoms include: chest discomfort or pressure, discomfort in the upper body and shortness of breath.
Use the acronym “F.A.S.T.” to spot stroke signs and know when to call for help: face drooping, arm weakness, speech, time to call 911.
Find more information at www.heart.org.