Dangers of dodging the emergency room

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Upstate doctors have a message: don’t be afraid of getting COVID-19 at the emergency room if you are having an emergency.   

Bon Secours Emergency physician Dr. Faith Stauter said when the pandemic began, doctors’ plea for everyone to stay at home had an unintended consequence they are now trying to correct.

“It did give us time to gather the appropriate PPE and prepare, but what we didn’t realize is we also created fear in our patients that needed us most,” Dr. Stauter said.

She said patients who have serious symptoms should never hesitate to come to the emergency room, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or numbness or weakness.

Ignoring symptoms of heart attack, stroke or sepsis can be deadly, she warned.

“It causes cardiac heart death, brain death, tissue death,” Dr. Stauter said. “Permanent disability in the way of permanent paralysis from stroke or heart damage and congestive heart failure.”

If you have simple symptoms of COVID-19, she still recommended staying at home, unless symptoms are worsening with symptoms of shortness of breath or chest pain and added that Bon Secours is working hard to keep everyone safe. 

“All of our staff are wearing eye protection, masks, and appropriate gowns. We do have walls in place to separate patient treatment areas specifically for COVID and admitted patients. We have specific COVID floors that patients would go to if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19,” she said.

Although patient numbers are not quite what they were before the pandemic began, she said, the busiest times have not changed, including Mondays, evenings and weekends.   

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