Doctors say no reason to be afraid of the ER during COVID-19 pandemic

Easing fears of the ER during COVID-19

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama hospitals believe there is a growing number of people who may put off going to the emergency room for medical care in fear of the coronavirus.

Recently, doctors and nurses at St. Vincent’s Health System in Birmingham discovered a troubling trend.

"Unfortunately we are seeing people staying at home hours after they had a stroke or a heart attack,” Dr. Jeremy Lindley said.

Lindley is with emergency medicine at St. Vincent’s. He said fear of getting coronavirus is putting people’s lives at risk.

“We’ve had more people come in who completed their stroke. Their heart attack happened yesterday. The appendicitis was several days ago,” Lindley said.

Lindley and St. Vincents wants patients to know that several steps have implemented to insure they will be safe and protected if they come to the emergency room.

“We put a lot of safety measures into place. All patients and visitors, including staff, prior to entering the building are checking temperatures and asking for symptoms,” Lindley said.

Those patients with symptoms are isolated and given a mask. Employees are sent home. The hospital works to keep the area cleaned and sanitized for everyone.

Dr. Lindley said despite seeing some hospitals in New York or other cites overwhelmed and crowded that is not the case here at St Vincent’s. They have plenty of room to keep you safe.

If you have a medical crisis, don’t put off going to the hospital. You don’t need to call ahead, just come to the ER and they will help you.

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