May 20, 2020

Don't Let Fear Keep You Away from the ER

Fear of COVID-19 keeps some patients from seeking care for heart attack and stroke symptoms.

When it comes to your heart, don't hesitate to seek emergency help. "We're finding that people are waiting too long to call first responders or to come to the ER when they are having chest pain," states Dena Eckardt, Director of Emergency Services. "Every minute lost in getting medical help can inhibit recovery. Every minute saved can preserve vital heart function."

"Whether COVID-19 related or not, our experienced medical professionals are ready to care for all patients with health emergencies," explains Michael Jensen, President of Davis Hospital. "We have put a strong emphasis on safety to ensure that protections are in place for everyone, including patients, staff and EMS personnel. This means that our emergency rooms (in Layton and Roy) continue to be a safe place to seek urgent medical attention."

The hospital has established screening stations at every entrance. Each person who enters the facility, including the emergency room, is screened. Anyone exhibiting signs of COVID-19 is taken to an isolation space for further evaluation. Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Johnson, states, "Screening allows us to protect each other while caring for a variety of patients including those presenting with heart attack and stroke symptoms. More importantly, we are able to screen and place patients in the appropriate location without using up valuable time when every minute counts."

Paying close attention to your body at this time of heightened stress is important. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heart attack or stroke.

Heart attack symptoms may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, pain in one or both arms, and nausea. Symptoms for women can be different and include nausea or vomiting and back or jaw pain.

For signs and symptoms of stroke, you are encouraged to remember “BE FAST”:

B – Balance: Watch for sudden loss of balance
E – Eyes: Check for vision loss
F – Face: Look for an uneven smile
A – Arm: check if one arm is weak
S – Speech: Listen for slurred speech
T – Time: Call 911 right away

If you have a medical history that indicates stroke or heart attack, or you have the symptoms of either, call 911 immediately, where you will be given appropriate, safe and necessary care. The longer you wait to seek care, the more likely to have long term effects on your health.