Emergency Medical Services and hospitals report seeing fewer heart attack and stroke patients seeking emergency care because of COVID-19 fears.
King County’s Medic One/Emergency Medical Services is encouraging residents to continue to call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies such as heart attack or stroke.
Serious symptoms, like those associated with a heart attack or stroke, are still considered urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapid treatment is critical, and first responders and hospitals have safety measures in place to protect patients from infection.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Discomfort in the chest, arms, back, neck shoulder or jaw.
Symptoms of stroke include:
- Numbness, weakness or loss of movement in your face, leg or arm, especially on one side
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Loss of balance
Some people may be not be seeking care because they have lost their medical coverage. If you have lost your health care coverage, go to WAhealthplanfinder to see what coverage you are eligible for. Free or low-cost Apple Health is available year-round and a special enrollment is available to people who have life changes as a result of COVID-19.
Originally published on May 6, 2020.