Don’t put off emergency treatment amid the pandemic

April, Archive, COVID Blog, Feel Good, Month, Staying Healthy, Topics

If symptoms are serious and you’re even considering a visit to the emergency department, do not wait or avoid the hospital.

Across the country, hospital emergency departments are looking more and more scarce.

Emergency physicians are seeing fewer patients, and they credit this anomaly to patients being fearful of COVID-19 and their potential for exposure in the department. They may weigh the risk of seeking treatment for their ailment against their severity.

But physicians urge everyone not to wait and delay treatment out of fear. They want to reassure everyone that every hospital emergency department has a screening process to quickly identify any suspected COVID-19 patient and isolate them from other patients. (Many hospitals and emergency departments have deployed COVID-19 testing tents in an effort to avoid suspected patients from even having to enter the hospital.)

They would also like to remind everyone that delaying treatment carries the potential to increase the severity of their ailment.

In an effort to avoid the hospital emergency departments, patients may take their ailments to an urgent care center. Again, physicians are urging patients not to take serious cases to urgent care centers since severity may dictate a transport to an emergency department anyway.

When to go to the emergency department

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if a patient is experiencing an injury or if their ailment is one that requires treatment this is not readily available.

Conditions such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Troubled breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting/Passing out
  • Deep wounds, heavy bleeding
  • Head injuries
  • Seizures
  • Persistent vomiting

When to go to urgent care

Seek treatment at an urgent care center when the patient has an injury or illness that will not worsen if not treated immediately.

Conditions such as:

  • Rashes
  • Minor infections
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Minor wounds/injuries