EDITOR’S NOTE: The following message is from Methodist Hospital South.
At Methodist Hospital South, we’re committed to helping protect the health and safety of the Atascosa community. While we remain diligent in the fight against COVID-19, we know that people are facing other critical medical issues as well.
We also know that people are avoiding potentially lifesaving care.
Researchers at health insurance company Cigna analyzed hospital admissions and found that many people with acute and emergency medical conditions are not going to the hospital. Nationally between February and March, the hospitalization rate related to atrial fibrillation decreased by 35 percent. Mini-strokes declined by 31 percent in the same timeframe. Double-digit declines were recorded in the rates of epileptic seizures, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attacks and appendicitis.
We’ve seen indications of these national trends in our local hospitals. At Methodist Hospital South for example, we’re seeing fewer patients coming to us for emergency services related to cardiac and stroke care than we normally see. The number of people experiencing these medical issues hasn’t changed, but the number of people we’re treating has.
This is dangerous for local residents. Delaying or avoiding critical medical care for medical emergencies, such as heart attacks, strokes or serious injuries, can result in serious health complications and even death.
Many patients and their family members may be understandably anxious about visiting healthcare facilities during the COVID 19 pandemic. We want to assure our community that our clinicians, caregivers and support teams are committed to protecting our patients, colleagues and everyone who comes into our hospital.
Methodist Hospital South has taken a number of precautions and put into place numerous new protections in order to help ensure our hospital continues to be the safest place possible to receive care. We have implemented health and safety standards over and above the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These precautions include limiting entry into our hospitals and implementing enhanced screening processes for patients, visitors and clinical teams. Methodist Hospital South has implemented a universal masking policy. ALL staff and providers in ALL patient care areas now wear masks, not just those caring for suspected or positive COVID cases. These universal protections help to set a new standard that promotes patient safety and confidence across all sites of care. These protections, coupled with our longstanding precautions and safety measures, support our commitment to lead with safety first.
Methodist Hospital South is dedicated to providing Atascosa county residents with outstanding care and encourages all residents to seek care promptly if they believe they or a loved one may be experiencing a medical emergency. We want our community to stay healthy, and we’re taking measures to be there to provide the care our residents need and ensure they receive it in a safe and caring environment at Methodist Hospital South. Concern about the pandemic is on all of our minds. But such concerns shouldn’t keep us from seeking potentially lifesaving care.
Your phone is a medical device. By calling a doctor, a hospital or 9-1-1, you are beginning the medical process that can deliver lifesaving care. In those instances, minutes matter.