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Covid-19: Patients are unwilling to go out and seek healthcare

  • Dr. Atia Sharmin Bonna ((MBBS,MPH)

Just back in few months, going to a doctor was not so hard. Anxiety keeps adults and children alike out of the medical sector, leading doctors to worry that people are not taking care of their non-coronavirus diseases and prompts paediatricians to express concern about the drop in the number of children being vaccinated. Yet, infants who are not vaccinated would be more vulnerable to diseases like measles. People often stay away from the hospital even though they aren’t expected to do so in the case of a heart attack, stroke or other emergency. It may be dangerous to avoid the doctor’s office and the hospital because of concerns of coronavirus. One should also arrive with safeguards at some of the most common doctor’s visits to keep us as safe as possible.

The media claim that fewer people go to their medical appointments or are seeking medical assistance out of concern about COVID-19. Even emergency rooms throughout the country see fewer patients for serious health problems, such as heart attack, stroke and acute appendicitis. However, physicians remember that it may be more risky to wait too long to seek treatment for life-threatening conditions than infection with the current coronavirus.

What should we do if we have a mild illness or injury?

When anyone has a mild illness or accident, they may take advantage of telemedicine and ask what more measures can be taken for their treatment. Examples of minor illnesses are colds, sore throats, gastrointestinal viruses or infections with the sinus. Minor injuries include mild burns or cuts, sprains, and strains. They also can call their doctor’s office if they think they may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue. The doctor will provide advice for home care, schedule an in-person visit, schedule a Virtual Visit, or refer you to an appropriate facility for further treatment, depending on their diagnosis and symptoms.

What do we do if the routine medical appointment is to be maintained?

Pregnant women and patients with chronic disease such as diabetic, hypertensive need to keep their routine monitoring. We need to make a phone appointment first and we can let our doctor know if we have any health problems that raise the chances of COVID-19 becoming seriously ill. The doctor will let you know whether you need to be seen in the room, or whether the appointment can be rescheduled safely. Your doctor can also provide additional options, such as Virtual Visits or a phone call, allowing you to access healthcare services from home in a convenient and secure manner.

When should we visit emergency in hospital?

When someone has signs such as chest pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath or other signs of heart attack, extreme numbness, fatigue, confusion, vision loss or other symptoms of stroke, trouble breathing, heavy bleeding, serious injury or trauma, high fever, possible broken bones, then it is important to run to the hospital without any hesitation. Since uncertainty can make things worse, even life-threatening can be.

What to do if you are advised to do tests?

If your doctor has prescribed tests such as blood tests, X-rays, or MRIs, ask your doctor if these can wait. If the doctor thinks the tests are too important not to delay, then it’s best to take the tests and get them done immediately in the nearby diagnostics.

When should one take his child to the doctor?

It is important to keep patients and families protected from vaccine-preventable diseases in the midst of the global health crisis. Although telemedicine may accomplish much, certain children with chronic health problems may continue to visit their paediatric subspecialists. Practices should change their workflows to ensure that visits are carried out as easily and safely as possible.

Should anyone hold off getting their child vaccinated?

Paediatric services give preference to in-person appointments for newborns, babies and children up to age 24 months. Visits are also essential for children of school age and adolescents due for routine immunizations. Speaking to a paediatrician about necessary vaccination could help reduce the burden.

What should be medical care facilities doing to keep patients safe?

Ultimately, the key thing to provide patient protection is not to cover any COVID 19 symptoms until the patients knock on appointment. Instead, separate arrangements should be made for both patients and doctor’s health in a clinic or hospital.

If one need to go to the doctor’s office in person, what steps should take to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection?

Hospitals and medical chambers should take sufficient measures to minimize the chances of transmission of COVID-19. Precautions may include: wearing personal protective equipment ( PPE), washing and disinfecting surfaces and regularly handled objects, practicing good hand hygiene, asking for safety, exposure to COVID-19, and traveling questions during check-in, reducing physical contact, following recommendations for social distance.

Patients should take precautions to reduce their risk of COVID-19 while going to the doctor’s office. Here are a few tips to stay safe:

  • Wear a cloth face covering: The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings to slow the spread of COVID-19. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N95 respirators. These are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
  • Follow social distancing recommendations: Avoid sitting within six feet of other patients in the waiting room and do your best to minimize physical contact with your doctor and staff.
  • Practice proper hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds at a time. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. As much as possible, avoid touching things such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, and credit card machines. Also, avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.


The author is currently working as a Research Assistant (RA) in North South University



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