COVID-19 scared patients out of hospitals, leading to health neglect and extreme backlogs

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Doctors across the country are now seeing more patients choosing to avoid hospitals during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. They say this is causing a backlog of patients, many of whom are exhibiting more serious health problems due to the lack of care during that period.

Among them is Nalinthip Fetters, who recently found out she had a hole in her heart. She was supposed to have regular checkups, but she, like many others, had run away from the hospital.

“The pandemic happened and I just stopped. I did not want to deal with it because it was like COVID was going around,” Fetters said. “I was so scared.”

Dr. Carlos Encarnacion, a cardiovascular surgeon for Houston Heart at HCA Houston Healthcare, said he had seen significantly fewer regular checkups during the pandemic.

According to the American Heart Association, the overall risk of dying from heart disease during the first year of the pandemic rose to just over 4%, and the risk of dying from a stroke also increased by over 6%.

According to the American Heart Association, the overall risk of dying from heart disease during the first year of the pandemic rose to just over 4%, and the risk of dying from a stroke also increased by over 6%.
(Fox News)

“From my patients’ experience, many of them have waived their PCP or primary care visits,” Encarnacion explained.

In Fetters’ case, the neglected health service forced him to perform an acute triple bypass operation. “Had she waited longer than she did, she would potentially have gone into a heart failure.”

MILLIONS GET HEALTH UNDER AFFORDABLE CARE LAWS

Doctors across the country are now seeing more patients who had chosen to avoid hospitals during the pandemic.

Doctors across the country are now seeing more patients who had chosen to avoid hospitals during the pandemic.
(Houston Heart at HCA Houston Healthcare)

According to the American Heart Association, the overall risk of dying from heart disease during the first year of the pandemic rose to just over 4%, and the risk of dying from a stroke also increased by over 6%.

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES MAY INCREASE RISK OF COVID-19 BREAKTHROUGH

Dr. T. Douglas Lawson, chairman of the board of the American Heart Association’s Houston Division, said research showed that this was a direct result of neglect of health checks during the pandemic. “People come later to screen for cancers, and these cancers are more advanced. People come later to check their blood pressure. And it creates more advanced heart disease, which we are now working to correct.”

Encarnacion added that this game of “catching up” has challenged the health care system. “Overall, I would say that with the amount of influx of patients back into the system, back to the healthcare system and the strained healthcare staff, together creating a little bit of backlog.”

Doctors associate a backlog of patients with neglected controls during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors associate a backlog of patients with neglected controls during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(FNC)

Hospitals across the country and medical organizations like the American Heart Association have been working to clear this patient backlog and prevent it in the future.

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“We have had to work really hard to show people that hospitals and clinics are safe. That we are there to help them and we need people to keep seeing their doctors,” Lawson said.

Doctors and the American Heart Association also reported that virtual doctor visits have helped clear up this backlog. They recommend such visits to anyone who hesitates to visit a hospital in person.

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