(ABC NEWS) – A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is highlighting how trends in emergency department visits were impacted during the early days of coronavirus pandemic.
In those early weeks, emergency room visits went down by 42%, compared to the same four week period one year ago, according to the study.
These decreases were especially pronounced for children and females and geographically in the northeast. The proportion of infectious disease-related visits was four times higher during the early pandemic period compared to the same period last year while visits for nonspecific chest pain and heart attacks decreased.
This data may suggest that some patients avoided seeking urgent medical care for fear of being infected while in the hospital.
Visits to the emergency room are always needed for serious conditions like heart attacks or strokes. Delaying or avoiding visits for conditions like these can worsen complications, and even result in death.
For conditions that don’t require immediate care or in-person visits, public health experts continue to recommend setting up a virtual call with your healthcare provider. And if in doubt, always call your doctor, to determine if you can safely delay a visit.