The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in countless ways.
One particularly alarming consequence of the coronavirus has been the shift in how Americans seek healthcare services.
Before the virus struck, seeking routine, emergency or preventative treatment was a way of life that most of us took for granted.
Now, fear of infection has caused many people to delay the care essential to being healthy in the present – and staying healthy in the future.
The negative consequences of this are just now being understood.
Your healthcare needs did not disappear because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fear of exposing oneself to COVID-19 at the doctor’s office or while seeking outpatient services at the hospital is understandable but unwarranted.
Doylestown Hospital and all Doylestown Health practices have taken significant steps to make a trip to the hospital or doctors’ office safe – even for vulnerable populations such as senior citizens.
These precautions make doctors’ offices one of the safest spaces outside of one’s home.
These safety measures include:
*Enhanced cleaning that includes the intensity and frequency of cleaning, as well as the type of disinfectants used in cleaning to kill the coronavirus;
*Reorganization of physical space to encourage social distancing;
*“Touchless” appointments that emphasize completing registration and check-out away from the office.
Skipping or delaying care can have serious consequences.
While a temporary delay may have occurred last spring, it is not advisable for anyone, especially those with a chronic health condition, to continue to postpone care.
Continued interruption in medical attention, including emergencies such as heart attack and stroke, may make the difference between an early diagnosis with successful treatment – and a more advanced diagnosis with less favorable outcomes.
*Ignoring chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can worsen the severity of the condition and can lead to other health problems such as heart attack or stroke.
*Routine bloodwork can reveal early warning signs of almost any disease.
*Well-checks and screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms can identify diseases before they advance to later stages when it is harder to treat.
*Every minute matters during emergencies such as heart attack and stroke. Getting treatment quickly can mean the difference between a successful outcome and tragedy.
Because no one knows for sure how long COVID-19 will continue to affect our lives.
Delaying medical care until the pandemic is over is not a safe option, regardless of your medical status.
PHOTO CAP: Patrice Blanchard, Director of Echo