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Don’t delay emergency care during current health crisis

Heart attacks, strokes, accidents and injuries. These are just a few examples of medical emergencies that can occur at any time, in any place and to anyone – even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All area communities are reminded that emergency departments are open and available at hospitals, to provide all types of emergency medical care, 24/7, regardless of the current public health crisis.

A recent report from the American College of Emergency Physicians, states some emergency departments across the country are seeing a reduction in patient volumes, as well as patients delaying seeking medical care for non-COVID-19 related emergencies – potentially because of patients concerned about contracting COVID-19 during a hospital visit or overwhelming healthcare workers.

“We urge our community members to never forgo or delay seeking medical care for any type of emergency, even in the midst of a pandemic,” said Dr. Ken Johnson, emergency medicine physician for Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “We have highly-skilled, compassionate providers, ready to care for you and protocols in place to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”

The following are some examples of symptoms/incidents in which a trip to the emergency department or call to 911 is necessary: Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath; chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure; severe abdominal pain; bleeding that will not stop; fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness; sudden changes in vision; sudden confusion; injury from accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wounds, or other serious injuries; choking; difficulty speaking; coughing or vomiting blood; head or spine injury.