Doctors: People are avoiding emergency rooms and it’s causing consequences

Regional News
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Doctors at Rochester General Hospital say COVID-19 is causing people to fear hospitals, even when they need them.  

Dr. Jerry Gacioch says he is worried about people who stay home  with serious symptoms. 

“There was a woman this weekend to the family said she had some indigestion feelings for three or four days, did not get seen, came in this weekend in an extreme situation and ended up passing,” Dr. Gacioch said. “If we have seen her a few days earlier possibly we could’ve saved her.”

And he says it stretches beyond just one person.

“We’ve seen a dramatic drop in the number of heart attacks and strokes coming into the hospital,  dramatic like 2/3 reduction, I mean really bad,” said Dr. Gacioch.

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza agrees.

“There are a whole host of people in our community for whatever reason have not sought care that’s not even elective care that’s important,” Dr. Mendoza said.  “we’re seeing the consequences of this in our hospitals, seeing people presenting to care later than they should because of concerns about hospitals and social distancing,” Mendoza said.

“We’re still open, you’re not gonna get COVID-19 by coming to the hospital,”  Dr. Gacioch said.  “I can tell you we’re all wearing these things you’re not gonna cut it from us it’s a very safe place to come.”

Hospitals like RGH are taking extra steps to keep patients safe, including separating people in waiting rooms, getting people into rooms right away and keeping staff in protective gear.

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