AUSTIN, Texas - Since COVID-19 cases began to ramp up, hospitals have seen a decrease in non-COVID-19 related patients, including a close to 40 percent reduction in patients experiencing heart attacks.
Peter Monteleone, an interventional cardiologist with Ascension Seton, says that every 42 seconds, someone in America has a heart attack, a statistic that hasn't gone away because of COVID-19, but that the hospital has seen a 45 percent reduction in patients coming in with emergent heart attacks.
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"Because of all the fear going on with the virus in the community, people are less likely to take care of some of their other health problems, including their emergency health problems, like heart attacks," Monteleone said.
According to the Commonwealth Fund, the number of non-COVID-19 patients has been down 60 percent since late March and hasn't gone up since.
"These people are not coming to the hospital," Dr. Pradeep Kumar with Austin Gastroenterology said. "And the thing that's important about those people with heart attacks is that the sooner you intervene, the sooner you get can get them to the cath lab and open up the arteries that reading to freeze your heart, you really improve not only their short term survival but also their long term survival."
The Texas Hospital Association says hospitals have geared up even more for this reason, to make non-COVID-19 patients feel safe enough to take care of their health.
"Hospital systems in the community have completely revolutionized the way they care for patients in order to make sure that we can continue to care for those conditions, while also keeping you safe from what's going on with the virus in our community and in our world," Monteleone said.
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