Doctors say they're seeing a growing number of deaths unrelated to COVID-19, a consequence of people delaying health appointments because of the pandemic.
As COVID-19 cases rise, so do the number of people afraid to step foot in hospitals. They fear they could be putting themselves at higher risk of contracting the virus. Now, doctors are pleading with them to put those fears aside.
"We have seen an uptick again similar to what we did in March, April, May because they're afraid of having covid coming to the emergency department," Dr. Zafar Shamoon said.
Doctors say it's an especially dangerous problems among adults in the high-risk category for COVID-19. Oftentimes, they[re the ones who need their regular check-ups the most.
"We don't want you guys to wait because some of these signs are very critical to a detrimental disease," Shamoon said.
He said those diseases can take a turn for the worst if you don't seek immediate care, and it starts with listening to your body.
"We think about chest pain for heart attacks. We think about numbness or pain to the arms we think about stroke," he said.
"What we have learned during the first surge that delaying care has resulted in poor outcomes," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, VP and chief clinical officer for Henry Ford Health System. "In fact, there is data at the present time through the state that tells us that the mortality in the past year in our state has been higher than expected."
That's why doctors also want to dispel the idea that you put yourself at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 when you enter a hospital.
"We as a system have made have taken every single effort that we can to make sure that our facilities are safe to provide non-COVID care during this time of the pandemic," Munkarah added.
The main message here is don't delay care. Doctors want you to make an investment in your health by getting regular check-ups, and getting medical attention if you notice anything unusual.