Over the past couple of months, it has been recommended that we stay away from emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, as well as other public places as much as possible. Restaurants and stores are easier to avoid, and other than the devastating financial repercussions of avoiding them, there is no physical downside to it…unless it’s driving you stir crazy! But there is a potential danger in avoiding necessary medical treatment, and we’re starting to see statistics regarding deaths which are attributable to the quarantine, and the fact that we’re reluctant to see our doctors or go to the ER. We continue to have conditions which must be evaluated by a doctor! Certainly, up until 2 months ago, there was plenty of illness, and doctors were seeing lots of patients in their offices. Now we are making decisions based on our feelings regarding the necessity for an in-person visit.
It might be appropriate for some of you to make the decision to hold off. It’s why I have produced this series! But there’s really no one out there to tell you if you should or should not go to the office or ER. In some cases, we have telemedicine to help with this decision making. Unfortunately, some of the patients who are being told to stay home, are having trouble with telemedicine technology. Telephone consults, while not ideal, are available to you as well. Use that option if in doubt.
But there are many of you who really should be going to the emergency room, and you must go. True, even before Covid-19, many used the emergency room as though it was a primary care facility. Consider seeing your doctor, or going to a minor ER, for treatment of conditions which are not emergencies. For everyone else, the emergency rooms are open, and available to treat you for your urgent needs. Do not hesitate to go if you have symptoms like the ones in the diagram above*.