Many physicians have noticed a startling decrease in patients coming in for serious non-COVID issues, such as heart attack and stroke. Some drop-in ER volumes is completely understandable. For example, “stay at home” mandates mean fewer cars on the roads, and thus fewer car accidents.
However, there is a concern that many patients are choosing to stay at home even when they need emergency care, out of fear of contracting the virus. More and more primary care physicians fear their patients will die because of delayed care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Physicians predict primary care will be overwhelmed with pent-up demand, and more than 60% of responding physicians believe that some of their patients will experience avoidable illnesses due to either diverted or avoided care, according to this survey with the Primary Care Collaborative that was conducted at the beginning of May.
Also, concern for patients’ mental health needs, both now and post-pandemic, is mounting. The majority of physicians expect to see a dramatic increase in the prevalence of substance abuse and an increase in patients with mental health needs.
Many medical facilities also fear that patients’ trust in the healthcare system is eroding. A quarter of primary care physicians say that they anticipate the pandemic will result in “a broken sense of trust between the public and the medical world.”
Patients must navigate the sometimes conflicting messages from public officials as well as disruptions to their routine medical care. Consequently, many medical facilities are trying to inform their local communities that their offices are safe.
The Medical Group of South Florida wants to reassure patients that they have the appropriate equipment, expertise, and protocols to keep all patients and staff members safe.
Many serious conditions such as stroke and heart attack can be successfully treated if patients receive care quickly — but could be devastating or fatal if treatment is delayed. Please do not delay seeking appropriate care out of fear of COVID-19.
Please speak with one of our medical professionals to find out if you need urgent medical attention by calling 561-622.6111. The life you save may be your own.