Just because of not getting infected, many seriously ill people have started avoiding hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices until people use remedies and stop other diseases from worsening?
Fear of contracting the coronavirus has resulted in people missing necessary screenings for their serious illnesses; some of them are life-threatening like cancer, heart diseases, etc.
Fear of contracting the coronavirus has resulted d heart diseases.
The number of COVID deaths crossed 100,000, beyond this figure, there are other casualties of the pandemic too, and among those are who avoided care because they feared that if they go to any hospital, they will be infected with the coronavirus, from the Corona patients that are already isolating at hospitals and clinics.
It is expected that the death toll that is other than Covid-19 may reach the Coronavirus death toll – this rising trend of avoiding medical facilities is clear yet concerning.
Although at many locations, the government, along with health care leaders’ passed orders to defer nonessential care with that of COVID-19, to successfully prevent the spread of the virus at other depts. of the hospital, especially in OPDs.
But what about the loss of jobs, and in some countries like the US, loss of employer-provided health insurance? These further delays care for some of the sickest patients.
To prevent further harm, people with severe, complex, and acute illnesses must now return to the doctor for care.
The fact is proven – across the US, a sizable (around 45 percent) decreases in new cancer diagnoses, the same fall (about 38 percent) reported in heart attacks and strokes patients; even visits to hospital emergency departments are reduced by 40 percent, but measures of how sick emergency patients have risen by 20 percent; according to a study by Mayo Clinic, the delay can be very harmful.
Meanwhile, non-COVID-19 yet out-of-hospital deaths have paced-up, while in-hospital mortality has fallen.
These statistics show that people with cancer are, and those with a heart attack or stroke symptoms are missing their respective necessary screenings, and are staying home during the precious window of time, especially when the probable damage could be turned out to be irreversible.
In fact, according to a recent poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians and Morning Consult, 80 percent of Americans say that they are more concerned about contracting the coronavirus from visiting the emergency room than anything.
Unfortunately, the world has witnessed grievous outcomes as a result of these unfortunate delays. Recently, in the US, a young woman delayed care for weeks with undiagnosed leukemia before she was brought to a Cleveland Clinic intensive care unit; resultantly, she died within weeks. Similarly, a middle-aged patient with abdominal pain waited five days to come to a Clinic emergency department, and died of bowel obstruction; according to doctors, both deaths were preventable.
The actual cost of this epidemic cannot be measured in dollars, but human lives and human suffering. Talking about cancer only, the calculations show that we can expect a quarter of a million additional preventable deaths per annum if regular care does not resume. One can expect similar outcomes for all those who forgo treatment for heart attacks, strokes, etc.
In just a matter of months, the Covid-19 crisis has fundamentally changed the practice of medicine in several ways. Telemedicine, for instance, has started out rightly, pivoting all of us from in-person care to virtual care. Patients in the necessary care are providing desired treatments while promoting social distancing, personal hygiene, recognizing patients’ fears more quickly, and reducing the risk of viral spread.
All the big hospital facilities used to provide thousands of virtual visits per month before the pandemic, which now has increased to hundreds of thousands across a broad range of conditions and demographics. At Cleveland Clinic, 94 percent of diabetes patients were treated virtually in April 2020.
We never know when the concept of virtual visits gets old, and till then, we have to be treated with obvious limitations, though this is no substitute for in-person care, especially for those who are severely ill and going through life-threatening conditions and requiring early interventions.
Such patients, even though the pandemic is making headlines — must seek the care they need.
Hospitals around the world are taking unprecedented initiatives, such as screening patient and caregiver temperatures at entrances, restricting visiting hours and patents’ attendants, encouraging employees to work from home, proper hand hygiene, expanding spaces to observe strict social distancing, and implementing cough etiquette and masking.
All of these strategies are intended to reduce risk while allowing patients to visit hospitals for their vital, high-quality care.
No matter when the deadlier coronavirus will go away, but to live a sustainable life, we have to subside its systemic side effects of fear and deferred care.
Doctors around the world working overtime to give vigilant attention to Covid-19, and at the same time, also addressing.
Please do not delay your healthcare visit, as your life depends on it.