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Community Health: Stay Home – But Not In A Medical Emergency

1 May 2020


We recorded our conversation with Dr. Jack Potter & Dr. Neal Gaither via Zoom to discuss how, why and when you should be seeking medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Potter explained that unlike parts of the country that were caught a bit off-guard when the virus hit, Valley Health had a better chance to prepare which included focusing on protecting the average patient in addition to those infected with the virus.The message he wanted to be sure was understood today is that you should seek medical care if you need medical and not let fear of catching the virus keep you from doing so. Click here for more information.

Dr. Gaither explained his concerns with people ignoring, in some cases, the warning signs of strokes and heart attacks for the same reasons as Dr. Potter stated. He gave us a quick overview of what those symptoms could look like and discussed the benefits of telehealth.

If you or a loved one have any of the following symptoms, that don’t go away after a few minutes, call 911 immediately. Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel can begin life-saving treatment right away, even before you get to the hospital.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

  • Chest pain/discomfort
  • Upper body discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Heart palpitations

For women, heart attack symptoms may also include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Clammy skin
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden fatigue

While it is possible that the symptoms are not a heart attack, being cautious is far better than the alternative. Make trained EMS first responders your first call, rather than driving to the emergency department yourself. Survive. Don’t Drive!

Symptoms of a Stroke

  • Sudden weakness/numbness of the face, arm, or leg
    • Especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Other Reasons to Visit the Emergency Department

  • If you are diabetic and have dangerously high or low blood sugar
  • If you have an infection with signs of sepsis
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Protruding or broken bones
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Head trauma
  • Loss of consciousness

Symptoms of COVID-19

If you have a respiratory symptoms, or think you have been exposed to COVID-19, please call your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, or your doctor’s office is closed, call Valley Health’s Respiratory Care Phone Line to discuss your symptoms: 540-536-0380.

Community Health: Stay Home - But Not In A Medical Emergency
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