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Even in the COVID-19 Era, Health Emergencies Need Quick Action

ROCK VALLEY, IA (April 22, 2020) – Hegg Health Center healthcare providers are reminding the public that when emergencies like stroke or heart attack happen, emergency care – right away – is just as important now as in times before the COVID-19 pandemic.

So is ongoing care for chronic conditions.

Individuals may hesitate due to fears of virus exposure, but in life-saving situations, every second counts. Hospital emergency rooms are safe environments, with constant steps being taken to reduce the chance of virus exposure or spread.

Clinics have also taken measures to separate respiratory illness from other patient needs, either by space in the clinic or by time of day. Virtual visits are available in numerous medical specialties, making it easier for people to ensure they receive ongoing care as recommended for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart or vascular disease.

If you or someone you love experiences these signs – call 911:

  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or upper abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

Heart attacks are not the only crisis condition.

Stroke, which is sometimes known as “brain attack,” is also a serious health condition that requires immediate emergency care. Symptoms are easy to remember with the stroke memory tool, BE FAST, which stands for:

Balance – Sudden loss of balance or coordination with walking.

Eyes – Sudden loss of vision in one or half of both eyes.

Face – Sudden onset of weakness in one half of the face, with drooping when the person is asked to smile.

Arms – Sudden onset of arm or leg weakness on one side, in which the arm or leg on the affected side will drift downward or not move at all after both sides are lifted.

Speech – Sudden onset of slurred or garbled speech, or an inability to repeat simple phrases.

Time – Reminder to not waste time, and to call 911 if you notice one or more of these warning signs, or get emergency care right away.

“It is always important for individuals at risk to continue seeing their provider as recommended so they can avoid possible life-threatening events,” said Jonathan Engbers, MD at Hegg Health Center in Rock Valley. “Signs of having a heart attack or stroke are not something to ignore, no matter what. Get to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible or call 911.”

Intervention can save lives and heart muscle, but timing is critical – so get help as soon as symptoms appear.

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