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  • Harlan Gallinger, MD

Emergency Care is Essential!

Updated: May 30

Heart attacks did not just stop happening with the advent of COVID-19, yet we are not seeing them present to our emergency departments. Same with strokes. Same with child abuse cases. Patients are delaying care because of fear of COVID-19. The Stay Home order has created unnecessary fear that hospital and clinics are not safe, and that simply is not true.


The Governor's closures of "non-emergent" health care has delayed necessary cardiac procedures as well as chemotherapy. Not to mention routine cancer screening. I've cared for patients first hand living with the consequences of these uninformed policies. Why not ask those of us on the frontlines caring for these patients; caring for the elderly patient short of breath to even walk around their house because of a heart rate 130-140 for the past 4 months because they could not have a cardiac ablation and rate-control medication was not working. Caring for a broken arm after more than 24 hours because of fear of coming into the hospital. (Broken bones are much harder to anatomically align, the longer one waits.)


Public Health messaging should have promoted the fact that Emergency Care is Essential, rather than Stay Home and Stay Away from ERs. Still today, people are afraid of coming into our ERs and hospitals. People in our state listened, and it has had deadly consequences.


https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/patients-with-heart-attacks-strokes-appendicitis-vanish-from-hospitals/



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