ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—At the beginning of the pandemic, many were anxious about catching the coronavirus. That fear resulted in a reported decrease of 911 calls, as people tried to avoid going hospitals where COVID patients were being treated.
“When we look back at the first wave in particular, the one that happened in the spring of 2020, a lot of patients who had minor heart attacks or minor strokes didn’t go to the hospital, and that resulted in a higher mortality rate that occurred in the subsequent weeks or months,” explained Dr. Alan Boulos, Albany Medical Center Chairman of Neurosurgery Department.
According to Dr. Boulos, it has since gotten better, as more people have become educated on the importance of heart and neurological health.
“We don’t see those mortality spikes that happened in the first wave and subsequent events,” stated Boulos.
When it comes to a heart attack or stroke, time is of the essence. It is best to call 911 for symptoms including arm or chest pain and speech difficulties.
“There are protocols to keep you safe and you are better off in the hospital rather than trying to wait out symptoms or have some sort of an emergency at home,” said Kristy Smorol, Communications Director of the American Heart Association.
Preventative measures such as regular doctors visits and checking high blood pressure can help stop an emergency situation from occurring.
“The point is, get to the doctor,” stated Smorol. “Get back on track with your health.”