Do not postpone emergency care during the COVID-19 crisis
As COVID-19 spreads through our communities, it seems all other health concerns and emergency medical situations have been put on hold but that should not be the case. Even during the pandemic, emergencies unrelated to COVID-19 occur.
Local hospitals, E.R.s and care teams are treating COVID-19 patients, while continuing to address other health care needs, including urgent and life-threatening health emergencies.
If you have an injury or a medical situation that needs immediate attention, do not put off getting care. It could save your life.
Act on your concerns, do not delay
Patients are putting off non-COVID-19 care to their detriment. Patients are waiting too long at home, and unnecessarily suffering alone.
The reason for delaying care is likely fear of catching or spreading COVID-19 in the hospital. But hospitals have protocols in place for infection prevention to ensure everyone remains safe, including caregivers.
What to expect in the E.R.?
Patients who enterthe E.R. can expect to see everyone wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including a mask.
Everyone who enters the E.R. is screened at the entrance for COVID-19 symptoms, history of exposure to the virus, and fever. Anyone who screens positively for these symptoms is taken to a separate area.
Also, loved ones accompanying patients to the E.R. are not allowed in the waiting room or hospital. This is for the safety of everyone. It is recommended that families stay in contact with patients via an electronic device. Many people use FaceTime or other platforms to talk to family and friends while waiting for or receiving treatment. If a patient is having trouble connecting, someone is usually there to help stay connected to their families.
Where to go when you need immediate care
When you’re not feeling well or you’re experiencing cold or flu symptoms, it can be difficult to know where to go, and when. If you think your condition is life-threatening, do not hesitate, call 911 or go to the nearest E.R.
Below are some medical symptoms and conditions that warrant a visit to the E.R. for immediate evaluation:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart attack or chest pain
- Head trauma
- Stroke symptoms
- Severe bleeding
- Losing consciousness
- Fever in a child less than age two months
When to go to an urgent care clinic
Urgent care clinics are ideal for those times you need same-day care for a minor medical emergency, or if you need other services like lab work and vaccinations.
The symptoms that can be evaluated and treated at an urgent care clinic include:
- Sprains and minor cuts
- Headaches and migraines
- Fever, cough, cold or flu
- Minor fractures
- Animal or insect bites
- Vomiting or persistent diarrhea
Schedule a virtual visit with your health care provider
If your condition is not an emergency, but you want to talk to a professional for an evaluation, schedule a virtual visit with your primary or specialty health care provider. From the comfort of your home, you can consult with your provider using technology on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you prefer or need to talk to your provider by phone, this is an option as well. Learn more about setting up a virtual visit.
Being worried during this uncertain time is normal. The stress and anxiety and even frustration that comes with being quarantined can have many negative consequences to your health. Please do not compromise your mental or physical well-being by delaying seeking care when you need it. Aim for a virtual visit they will work through this with you together.