The world’s doctors and nurses insist that emergency services are collapsed. In some cities like New York, outside health centers there are lines of people with symptoms such as cough, sore throat or fever, eager to be evaluated to rule out whether they are infected with covid-19. But is going to an emergency the best decision?
“If you feel sick do not come to the emergency as the first option”, Recommended Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in the podcast “Clinical Conversation” of the medical journal NEJH Journal Watch. “Stay home … avoid infecting five other people when you go to an emergency,” he adds.
In different interviews, Fauci explained that the first step when the disease is suspected is to phone your doctor or the emergency room itself to ask initial questions and make the best decision, to know where you can do the test to rule out the disease — if necessary — and what safety measures must be taken to avoid spreading the virus, if it has one.
“Don’t panic,” recommends Fauci on the podcast. “It could over-saturate the medical system unnecessarily.”
We explain what you should consider before going to an emergency:
What should I do if I have a fever or sore throat?
Fabiola Batista, a nurse at an emergency center at Mont Sinai Hospital in Inwood, New York, recommends that she not. “If you only have a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, don’t go to an emergency. Those are flu or allergy symptoms and are things that can be monitored from home, “he tells Univision Noticias on the phone. “If you have trouble breathing or chest pain, yes”, add. He explains that these two symptoms are described as part of covid-19 and speak of a worsening in the person’s medical condition.
The same recommendation is made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among the warning symptoms they list and for which they do recommend “immediate medical attention” are: difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to wake up and have a bluish face or lips. However, they warn that this list of symptoms could be expanded as the disease is studied.
The CDC even explains that there are people who do have covid-19 but whose symptoms are moderate and could recover at home and without medical care. In this case, the person’s isolation is paramount. If the patient has not had a screening test, the measurement should only be terminated when there has been no fever in at least the last 72 hours, the CDC explains, and when other symptoms such as cough or difficulty to breathe, it has improved.
I still have doubts and I don’t know if I should go to the emergency
If you have a GP, call them before going to a hospital. If not, you can use telemedicine services They have different health centers available and they allow you to speak to specialists by phone or video call. We leave you some links with information about it:
In this note below we explain step by step which health authorities you can call if you have symptoms:
I must go to the emergency: do I go alone or accompanied?
Batista explains that only because health centers are not allowing companions even in waiting rooms due to the high risk of contagion of the disease. Whenever the decision is to go to a hospital, you should put on the mask before entering and keep a six-foot distance from anyone.