Coronavirus and Your Heart: Don't Ignore Heart Symptoms
Since we are in the middle of a pandemic and instructed to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, an unsettling trend is occurring. Most of us are worried about getting sick from the new coronavirus, that they are ignoring very important signs of medical issues that would otherwise warrant a trip to the emergency department. This is especially true in people showing signs of heart attack and stroke. In fact, a study completed by Emergency Doctors from Washington State showed emergency admissions fell 10-20% at six large hospitals in February and March.
Here are several reasons why you should not resist going to the emergency room in fear of contracting COVID-19.
1. Certain Conditions Are Deadlier Than COVID-19
What we are seeing on the news about COVID-19 positive patients is scary. There’s still so much unknown about the disease and the fatalities have been highlighted more than the recoveries.
On the flip side, heart disease is the leading cause of death and stroke is the leading cause of disability for men and women in the U.S. With both heart disease and stroke, medical intervention is necessary for recovery.
We cannot stress this enough: If you experience any warning signs of a stroke or heart attack, do not wait to take action and call 911. You need to be evaluated as soon as possible.
What are the Warning Signs?
Symptoms of a stroke include:
Numbness, weakness or loss of movement in your face, leg or arm, especially on one side
Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Loss of balance
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
Chest discomfort – pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body like the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
Shortness of breath
Discomfort in arms, back, neck, shoulder or jaw
2. Faster Treatment Means Better Outcomes
Strokes and heart attacks occur when there’s disruption of blood flow to the brain and heart muscle. These disruptions occur when there’s a clot or plaque buildup that’s causing blockage in various arteries or when an artery breaks open, causing internal bleeding. In both cases, the longer the blood supply is lost, the greater the damage.
There are incredible new medical interventions that allow physicians to prevent or reverse the effects of heart attack or stroke if they are addressed early enough. Waiting to get the care you need can cause significant, life-threatening issues.
Call 911 if you think you are having a HEART ATTACK or STROKE
Heart attacks and strokes don't stop during a pandemic
Call your doctor
If you have a heart condition and have questions or think you need a health visit.
Don't Delay Routine Care
You may be able to get advice over the telephone or use telehealth for a virtual visit.
Cardiologists at Advanced Heart and Vein Center are available for both Televisits using secure patient portal as well as in-person visits for patients that require clinical visit.