FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Local hospital officials are encouraging you to seek treatment for medical emergencies, despite the pandemic.
Parkview Health understands there may be a fear of going to the emergency room right now, but the hospital system says permanent damage can be done if you don’t get treatment.
According to Parkview Health, emergency room visits are down 50% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is a delay in patients seeking treatment.
“We just want people to know, if you had an emergency in January, and the same type of symptoms are occurring today, then that same type of emergency still exists,” says Dr. Tom Gutwein, Medical Director of Emergency Medicine, Parkview Health.
Dr. Gutwein says his department is receiving calls asking if the emergency room is open. He says absolutely, it’s open 24/7.
“Some patients absolutely don’t need to come to the emergency department, and that’s great. The ones that bother me are the ones that don’t come in when they need to come in.”
If you need to come in, the hospital is taking every step possible to make sure you don’t contract COVID-19.
“We screen everybody when they come into the emergency department. We screen them at the door. We provide them a mask, if they need a mask. And then we bring them back to a room as quickly as possible.”
Possible COVID and non-COVID patients are kept in completely separate areas, which also ensures there is no cross contamination between staff. Dr. Gutwein says heart attacks, strokes, and other medical conditions don’t go away just because there is a virus.
“If you don’t listen to your body’s signs and symptoms at this time, just because you’re fearful you go to the hospital you’re going to get COVID, then you’re probably going to be doing more of a disservice to your body. You may be causing some permanent harm, and we don’t want that to happen to anybody.”
Parkview also says it is using UV lights to help sanitize hard to reach areas.