Doctors fear people aren't going to hospital for heart attacks due to COVID-19 concerns

Posted at 9:07 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 05:22:08-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Many doctors across the nation are wondering where the heart patients are. Their main concern? That people experiencing heart problems may not seek treatment.

“Our concern is not that they’re not happening anymore. We have every reason to believe they are. But the patients are fearful of coming to the hospital. People don’t want to be exposed to COVID, so they’re worried about that,” Dr. David Wohns, division chief of cardiology for Spectrum Health said.

He says people shouldn't hesitate to go to a doctor if they have concerns about their heart health. They can always do a video chat or phone call to maintain social distancing.

“We’ve seen several patients, just recently, called their doctor, suspecting it to be COVID, and it turned out to be heart attacks," Wohns said.

Wohns says that's because the symptoms of COVID-19 and heart attacks are similar, like shortness of breath or tightness in the chest.

The longer someone waits for treatment regarding heart problems, the more complications they may face. Wohns says they're ready at the hospital if you need help, but of course, that should be reserved for emergencies only.

“We’re up to the task, it’s unbelievable the work that every one of our team has done for our patients,” Wohns said.