Delays in seeking care can make matters worse

Joyce Dombrousk, chief executive of Providence Montana. and Dr. Kevin Eichhorn, Medical Staff president at Providence St. Patrick Hospital, spoke out on their thoughts on patients delaying care out of fear of exposure to the coronavirus.

“Throughout this pandemic, hospital and emergency department volumes have been extremely low as people have been unable to have ‘elective surgeries’ or see their doctors in person for most non-emergent problems. Many people have appropriately jumped through the hoops of COVID testing at the designated outpatient sites. Montanans have had to think through whether or not to even leave their homes, much less seek medical attention where there is the possibility of exposure to COVID… We want to make it clear that if you are having serious medical and potentially life-threatening symptoms, please do not avoid care out of fear. We are here for you and are doing our best to minimize any potential risk for you, from COVID or any possible harm. Our hospitals, clinics and emergency departments have taken aggressive measures to protect both patients and staff from exposure. These range from aggressive use of PPE with universal masking, triaging respiratory patients from non-respiratory patients, routing trauma patients through a separate bay and limiting all but essential visitation.”

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