PMH HealthBeat

Emergency Departments seeing fewer patients

Hospitals around the state and across the country, including Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, are urging patients to not delay treatment of chronic conditions or emergency care.

While the anxiety and trepidation people in our community may feel about visiting a hospital during the COVID-19 crisis is understood, we urge people to return to their normal medical care routines. Healthcare officials, both in West Virginia and the nation, report increases in medical emergencies due to people putting off medical issues because of COVID-19 fears.

According to Director of Nursing and Clinical Services Michelle Deeds, Emergency Department visits for March and April were down more than 16%, while May and June thus far have seen a 12% decline from the same time period in 2019.
“It’s a slight improvement, but still a decline,” Deeds said.

Medical care for serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes absolutely cannot wait. Every second is precious. Ignoring significant health problems can lead to serious complications or death. If you are having a medical problem that you would have called 911 for before the COVID-19 crisis, then you need to call 911 today for that same problem.

According to the American College of Cardiology, some symptoms of a heart attack you should not ignore include chest pain, difficulty breathing, or discomfort in chest, arms, back, neck, shoulder or jaw. Warning signs of stroke include numbness, weakness or loss of movement in your face, leg or arm, especially on one side, confusion, trouble speaking or understanding and loss of balance. 

If you put off routine appointments to check up on chronic conditions over the last few months, now is the time to get those back on the books. PMH has stringent processes in place for all employees and patients to keep our hospital as safe as possible for those seeking medical attention. In addition, the hospital is still adhering to a visitor restriction policy. All outpatient services, clinics, and hospital functions are open and receiving patients. Our hospital and clinic are prepared to care for patients with any type of condition, while simultaneously keeping them safe.

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