Adults With Serious Conditions Are Avoiding Emergency Rooms Because of COVID-19

April 22, 2020

AARP

In a trend that is alarming medical providers, adults fearing contact with COVID-19 are staying at home instead of going to hospital emergency rooms when they have serious symptoms of life-threatening conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

Doctors say the resulting delays in treatment are causing complications and long-term health problems such as irreversible brain and heart damage, disability, amputation and fatalities.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice go to AARP.org/coronavirus.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the number of patients visiting emergency rooms nationwide has dropped by 40 to 50 percent, says William Jaquis, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Aventura, Fla., and president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

"We are afraid that patients could potentially die at home,” Jaquis warns.

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