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Worries grow over dip in ER visits by stroke victims, others

April 20, 2020 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Doctors in Maryland say they’re worried that fewer people with symptoms of a stroke or heart attack are showing up at emergency rooms.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that doctors believe that some people have chosen to avoid the emergency room because of the coronavirus pandemic. Such behavior could put possible heart-attack and stroke victims at even greater risk.

Doctors say that some people may be concerned that they’ll contract the virus by visiting the hospital. Or there may be confusion over stay-at-home orders.

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Providers in Maryland say avoiding the hospital increases the chance of serious health complications for stroke and heart-attack victims. Recoveries are often tied to how fast people are treated.

Dr. Mark Vesely, a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, said people will fare better if doctors can get to them more quickly.