7 reasons not to avoid emergency rooms during the pandemic

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Months into the pandemic, many are still delaying care by not going to the emergency room.

With the COVID-19 pandemic first reported in the United States in January and peak of cases and hospitalizations hitting in May, southeast Michigan is now months removed from the initial threat of the pandemic.

And since that time, physicians have urged people not to avoid emergency treatment.

Emergency rooms took many precautions to ensure the space was clean, treatments were administered in safe environments, and doctors and patients are properly protected.

Still, though, many people are forgoing local emergency rooms, choosing to delay treatment on not only life-threatening conditions, but also those that may lead to more significant and serious complications later on.

Here are reasons to not delay treatment:

Chronic conditions

Conditions that require constant monitoring and management, such as heart disease, diabetes or even cancer, can become uniquely compromised from a seemingly harmless sickness or ailment. Health issues should be evaluated by a physician so a chronic condition doesn’t worsen due to that illness.


Broken bones and fractures, of course, must be X-rayed and set in a cast to heal. But joint and ligament pain, too, should be evaluated to ensure that it is not symptomatic of a more severe condition, potentially leading to preventable permanent damage.


Symptoms of high-risk pregnancy can occur between scheduled OB/GYN appointments. High-blood pressure, headaches, increased swelling, blurred vision, fever, abdominal pain and heavy bleeding must be evaluated immediately by a physician.

Head injuries

It might be a bump on the head, but it’s best not to chance it. Any injury to the head, especially those that caused loss of consciousness, blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, lingering headaches or any change in neurological status must be evaluated by a physician.

Random pain and discomfort

The sudden onset of an unexplained pain or discomfort can be symptomatic of something more serious. An evaluation and tests by a physician will diagnose that pain and determine a proper course of treatment.

Life-threatening emergencies

If you or anyone around you begin showing symptoms of a heart attack, stroke or other serious life-threatening conditions, do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1.

Safe environment

Don’t avoid an emergency room because you think it means you’ll become infected. One of the first actions taken by hospitals amid the pandemic was to ensure that emergency care could be administered safely in clean environments.


Check-in online, avoid the wait

Check-in to your nearest McLaren emergency room online and avoid the wait when you arrive.

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Safe care at McLaren

Learn more about the steps McLaren has taken to deliver care in a clean, safe environment.

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