Doctors express concern about decrease in people seeking emergency care

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Doctors from one local hospital’s emergency room expressed concern that because of fears of catching COVID-19, many people experiencing medical emergencies aren’t seeking treatment.

The number of visits to the emergency room for life threatening issues are way down, according to Jerry Roy, the chest pain director for Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital.

“There’s been a significant decline in chest pain admissions to the hospital, heart attacks, strokes, and we just want to urge the population here in town to make sure they understand that we are taking the safe precautions and make sure people understand that health care providers are still here for you,” Roy said.

Julie Isaac, a physician for Greenview said hospital staff are taking all measures to protect patients and are still treating all emergencies.

Isaac also encourages the public to seek medical care for emergencies.

“If you are at home and you have this sudden onset of shortness of breath, if you have chest pain, if you have jaw or left arm pain, if you have issues with a lot of fluid accumulation and you are getting shorter breath or you have severe abdominal pain or if you have stroke symptoms, these are things that are emergencies and just coming to the hospital does not mean that you are going to get the virus,” Isaac said.

If you are unsure if you are having an emergency, you can call the 1-800 number for most hospitals and clinics.

“You can actually talk to a physician. We will be able to coach you through your symptoms and if we deem that it is necessary for you to come to the hospital, we will certainly urge you to do so,” Roy said.

“Even though people do get the virus, not everybody dies from it. You know, most people get a very mild case so, you know, if you have a life-threatening illness or some symptom that could be life threatening. Please come to the hospital. Let us take care of you. We will protect you the best we can,” Isaac said.

Governor Andy Beshear has also reiterated, don’t go to the hospital unless it is an emergency, but doctors say if it is an emergency, don’t hesitate to get care.

You are advised to call your primary health care provider for non-emergency medical treatment.