Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States, emergency rooms across the country have seen a drop in the number of patients. After looking into these numbers, experts found that there weren’t fewer emergencies happening, but rather, people were concerned about catching COVID-19 and were staying home despite health concerns.
“Many ED diagnoses are time-critical,” said Joe Young, DO, FACEP, executive vice president of Integrative Emergency Services Houston. “For every second you wait with an untreated ischemic stroke, 1.9 million neurons die. Heart attacks are also time-critical and can be tricky to detect. I had treated a significant amount of people that thought they were having indigestion when, in fact, they had a heart attack. We have the tools necessary to detect life-threatening emergencies.”
At St. Luke’s Health, patient safety is our top priority. We’ve taken steps to prevent interaction between people with COVID-19 symptoms and people with other emergencies. Follow along as we show you the different paths people may take through the ER.