Don’t Delay Your Healthcare

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During our current pandemic, we’ve all learned to go without many things that enhance our lives. One thing we should never do without, however, is healthcare. Unfortunately, due to fears of catching the coronavirus, many continue to opt out of receiving the medical care they need.

Dr. Natalie Shum of West Hills Medical Center believes that the majority of people’s fears are unfounded. “Our physician-led COVID task force at West Hills Hospital implemented processes to maintain a safe environment for our patients.” They also have best practices in place to protect staff.

No one should ignore certain medical emergencies, such as shortness of breath or chest pain. The longer a person waits, the worse the clinical outcome. If you experience severe headaches, abdominal pains, or symptoms of a stroke—which includes unexplained weakness, numbness, or difficulty with speech, vision or balance—call 911 immediately. People with chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, must monitor themselves. If these worsen, contact your doctor. Dr. Shum notes that many non-COVID patients who delay care risk facing further complications when they finally seek medical attention. The doctor notes, “A bladder infection can turn into a kidney infection. Pneumonia can lead to sepsis. A missed heart attack can evolve into heart failure and even death…the list goes on.”

The bottom line is that due to the myriad safety precautions in place, your doctor’s office and local hospitals remain quite safe during our current pandemic. The bigger risk is simply not going at all.