Mercy Hospital Doctors: Avoiding emergency rooms during stroke symptoms could have serious consequences

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If you’re having symptoms of a stroke, don’t avoid the hospital out of fears of exposure to Covid-19, that’s the message health officials at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo is trying to get out to the public.

March and April the hospital had a drastic 50 percent decrease in emergency room in visits for stroke related conditions. Lee Guterman, who is the medical director of neuroscience for the catholic health system, says that’s a bad sign.

“In May, some of the severe strokes and some of the moderate strokes were starting to come back,” he said. “But, we still feel that there are people who are afraid to come to the hospital out of fear of contracting a Covid19 infection.”

He says as an alternative to going to the hospital some folks are just saying home when they have signs of mild to moderate stroke

“If you have any blurred vision, slurred speech, weakness on one side of your body, inability to understand speech, imbalance, you need to come to the hospital right away,” said Guterman. “If you’re  having chest pain or shortness of breath, don’t stay home and wait until the heart attack gets worse and then we can’t save your heart anymore, come in right away.”

Health officials at Mercy stress that the environment in the hospital is very safe.

“If you’re a patient and you come into our emergency room you’ll be screened for covid signs and symptoms,” said Shannon Scarpello, neuroscience nurse coordinator at mercy hospital. “You’ll have your temperature taken, we’re going to ask you if you have any kind of symptoms that might indicate a covid infection. If we suspect that you might have covid, we’ll test you, you’ll be put in a separate room isolated all the nurses are already wearing masks.”

For more information visit https://www.chsbuffalo.org/mercy-hospital-buffalo https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/types_of_stroke.htm

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