Staying Healthy In a COVID-19 WORLD

Posted On September 9, 2020

“Seek care when needed, especially for serious conditions.”

by Melissa Thoun

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have avoided seeking medical care for chronic conditions or emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks.

“We are seeing a radical reduction in the number of patients seeking help and many patients aren’t coming into the hospital,” said neurologist Forrest Lowe, MD. “As such, people are coming in too late for adequate treatment, sometimes resulting in death or severe disability.” Call 911 if you have stroke symptoms including trouble balancing or dizziness; trouble with vision or a sudden onset in one or both eyes; facial drooping, arm and leg weakness, or trouble with speech or language.

“Stroke is a treatable disease, and we have the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the same time we begin appropriate stroke treatments.”

Symptoms of a heart attack also need fast action. Call 911 if you notice any of these common symptoms of a heart attack including chest pressure or squeezing, aching or burning; shortness of breath; back pain; nausea; anxiety; excessive fatigue; jaw pain; pain that travels down one or both arms; feeling of fullness. “You can experience any or all of these symptoms,” said Dr. Lowe. “Whenever symptoms change or worsen, it is time to seek medical care. And if you have a chronic condition, such as heart disease, it’s important to continue with your regular care. Many of our practices are providing telehealth and phone visits.”

Why you should keep your child’s well visit

Studies show that more parents are not taking their children for well visits and immunizations because they’re fearful about exposure to COVID-19. Prisma Health pediatrician Kerry Sease, MD, explained why it’s important to still go for these visits.

“Immunization of children, especially in the first year of life, is our top priority,” she said. “Our country has seen a resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses, and we don’t want to see that rise further during this pandemic.” A delay in getting these vaccines could affect herd immunity. “There are people who can’t get vaccines because they’re medically unable – whether it’s disease specific or because of the medications they’re taking. We need to do our part as a community to protect them as well,” she said.

There are 11 well child visits that are recommended in the first 30 months of a child’s life. Well visits are important for monitoring motor and language development, answering parents’ questions, and evaluating older children for signs of anxiety and depression. It’s also a good time for the physician to monitor educational development and to manage conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or asthma, particularly since--due to COVID-19—children have not been in school where teachers usually monitor some of these symptoms.

Concerned you have COVID-19?

For information about COVID-19 testing site locations, a symptom checker or a free virtual exam, visit PrismaHealth.org/Coronavirus.

Prisma Health takes measures to provide a safe, clean environment for all patients, guests and team members.