Dealing With A Heart Attack In A Pandemic Situation
Since the coronavirus started across the globe, doctors at a number of hospitals have noticed a pattern. Fewer patients are being treated for heart attacks at a time when an increase would be expected. People already having heart disease are at a greater risk of severe coronavirus infection, and heart complications are being seen with the disease. Cardiac patients, counting those who went through heart procedures such as by-pass surgeries and angioplasty, or have suffered damage to the heart, and those whose hearts have a weak pumping should be extra careful. The Novel Coronavirus attacks the lungs primarily. Although, it poses a risk to people who have a fatty build-up called as plaque in their arteries, potentially leading to the blockage of an artery responsible to feed the blood to the heart, and thus increasing the risk of a heart attack for the patient.
But taking extra care for someone with an existing heart problem does not mean not treating their cardiovascular emergencies by not going to the hospital. Heart attacks are increasing as the heart complications are being left untreated due to people’s fear of going to hospitals. People fear being exposed to COVID-19 and rightly so but taking stringent precautionary measures can do the trick. Right research and following instructions provided by the hospital is enough to get any medical emergency treated without getting COVID-19.
Patients who are already at higher risk of experiencing medical emergencies have described a mix of fear and confusion about how to get safe and adequate care. According to various doctors, people are staying at home and trying to diagnose themselves or really playing down their symptoms, which can lead to more harmful consequences. Sometimes, symptoms of heart attack can be easily mistaken for COVID-19. The symptoms of a heart attack can include pain or tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and discomfort in the jaw, arm or upper back. The problem is that breathlessness and chest pressure are mistaken for COVID-19 most of the time. But either way, these symptoms need immediate attention. Acting quickly on those symptoms could be the difference between life and death. And because of the fear of being exposed to COVID-19 in case they aren’t, people delay or avoid going to the hospital. People experiencing any of those symptoms should quickly call the emergency service, even during the coronavirus outbreak. Instructions by the government and WHO to ‘Stay at home’ does not apply to patients with heart attack symptoms which needs to be administered quickly to be most effective. Delaying or ignoring the symptoms can put your life at risk, increase the damage to your heart and the risk of developing a heart failure.
Going to a hospital for other emergencies is completely safe if you keep in mind the safety instructions. Hospitals are trying to reassure patients that they are taking strict safety precautions to keep them safe. Majority of the hospitals have set up a number of protocols for admitting suspected COVID-19 patients, such as separate screening areas inside the ER and dedicated areas of the hospital for treating coronavirus inpatients. Mask and gloves are mandatory at almost every hospital for everyone inside. The cleaning protocols have been made more efficient. All the changes inside the hospitals are designed to keep the patients and staff members safe.
Doctors and everyone in the health sector suggest that you should not delay any medical emergency because of the coronavirus and lockdown. All the steps are being taken to make the hospital premises safe including treatment of COVID-19 patients in dedicated areas only. As soon as you start feeling symptoms, dial up the emergency number or have someone take you to the hospital. Remember, COVID-19 isn’t the only disease that’s being treated at the hospitals. Medical services are open to treating all kinds of medical emergencies.
So, whenever you or someone you know experience any of the symptoms related to a heart attack or any other medical emergency, give a call to emergency services or if you can, bring them to a hospital. Just remember to follow the safety instructions when you leave the house and also when you’re inside the hospital. Little actions can save your life and of the ones around you as well.