COVID-19: The importance of continuing to seek care
Going to the doctor for regular care is important. Even during a pandemic. Whether you have a chronic medical condition that needs to be managed by a healthcare professional or you have a yearly exam coming up, it is important to keep your appointments and continue to seek the medical care you need to stay healthy.
“Nationally we have seen trends where individuals are not seeking healthcare during this pandemic” said Steve Shelton, MD, emergency medicine physician. “We have seen that trend in our physician offices and hospitals, and we’ve also seen health complications that arise because of that.”
Dr. Shelton answered some questions about seeking medical care, explaining why it is so important, especially during this pandemic.
What if you have a chronic condition?
If you have a chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, we want to make sure you are getting the medical care you need to manage your condition. A chronic condition is anything that lasts one year or more, requires ongoing medical attention or limits your daily activities. While these conditions make you at high risk for complications from COVID-19, it is important you continue to manage your condition with your healthcare provider to stay as healthy as possible. We want these conditions managed; we do not want them to worsen.
What if you are sick or injured?
Get the medical attention you need if you are sick or injured. For emergency situations, call 911 or visit the emergency department. For other minor illnesses such as sinus pain, skin rashes or UTIs, talk to your doctor or explore same-day care options available in-person and virtually. We want you to be your healthiest you and that means tending to major and minor illnesses and injuries.
What about preventive care?
Prevention is key. While it may not seem necessary to go to the doctor’s office for your yearly exam or get your annual screenings completed, they are part of managing your overall health – even if you are already healthy. Managing your health with your doctor can help prevent you from developing a chronic disease in the future. Make sure you and your children are getting your immunizations.
“Our doctor’s offices and hospitals are taking precautions to make sure you and our team members are protected and safe during this pandemic,” said Dr. Shelton. Not getting the care you need when you need it can cause an already bad condition to get even worse or can take you from healthy to unhealthy quickly.
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