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Healthcare professionals: During a medical emergency, don't let fear of COVID-19 stop you from going to the ER

1 month 4 days 7 hours ago Tuesday, April 28 2020 Apr 28, 2020 April 28, 2020 9:58 AM April 28, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

Baton Rouge – Healthcare professionals in the capital city have noticed that since stay-at-home directive, some patients who are in need of medical attention have become recluctant to leave their homes and seek necessary assistance from nearby hospitals and other medical centers.

Officials with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN), which is the state agency responsible for developing and maintaining a statewide system of care coordination for patients struck by sudden and traumatic medical emergencies, issued a statement about this, Tuesday.

LERN leaders noted that since the COVID-19 crisis began there's been a worrisome decline in the number of hospital activations for stroke and heart attack patients. This motivated LERN to release a statement, urging residents who are at risk of stroke, heart attack, or other sudden medical emergencies to go to the hospital when ill instead of staying home due to a fear of contracting novel coronavirus.

Paige Hargrove, LERN's Executive Director, stressed the importance of seeking immediate medical attention during an emergency by saying, “It is important that people experiencing Stroke or STEMI symptoms seek medical care immediately. Stroke and STEMI are time-sensitive illnesses that create irreparable damage, and often death, when patients hesitate to seek the care they need.”

Christopher White, M.D. is Professor and Chair of Medicine and Cardiology at Ochsner Medical Center, added, “In Louisiana, and across the country, we are seeing a dramatic decline in patients with heart attacks coming to the hospital.” 

The advice to Louisiana citizens is straightforward says Dr. White “If you are experiencing significant symptoms of increasing chest pain or shortness of breath this may indicate you are at risk for a heart attack, which is much more life-threatening than the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Please contact your physician for instructions or come to the Emergency Department for care. It could save your life.” 

Click here for more information about LERN. 

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