Doctors reminding don't avoid ERs, other health issues during the pandemic

Metro Detroit doctors are reassuring and say they feel like they're gaining control over COVID-19. But the real concern now is making sure patients with other health issues don't avoid the doctor.
"We're worried that patients who do need care are holding back because they're afraid to come into the hospital," says Dr. Fabian Fregoli, Chief Medical Officer for St. Joseph Mercy Oakland. And that's exactly what doctors are seeing everywhere. 

"What's happening is people are delaying medical care, whether it be going to the pediatrician to get vaccines, whether it be following up with their cardiologist or primary care docs to get refills on their blood pressure meds, or whether it be delaying acute medical issues like strokes, heart attacks," says Dr. Rahul Mehta, Head of Emergency Medicine with St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.

Both doctors point out elaborate protocols are in place to ensure safety. 

"We want to encourage people to come to the emergency department, go to their doctors - all these physicians are practicing safe practices, separating patients, ensuring that the ERs are clean and safe, vigorous screening so we can treat your disease early in the process and you can have a better outcome than later in the process," says Dr. Mehta.

It's likely you'll be asked to wear a mask and you'll also be screened before any appointment. 

"For those procedures like an X-ray or a mammogram, those that are relatively quick in-and-out tech procedures, we're not requiring testing. But there is a screening process at all of our entrances and we'll be asking questions even when you call to make your appointment just to ensure you're healthy," says Dr. Fregoli.

The doctors say to ease some of your anxiety, follow the guidelines. Take control of what you can. That means wear a mask, try not to touch anything and if you do, wash your hands. Don't touch your face and stay six feet away from others.