Emergency room visits for non-coronavirus related illnesses have dropped dramatically during this pandemic, but the information comes with a warning. A new sign from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says putting off emergency care for serious health complications, and fewer visits for acute conditions could result in complications and even death.
According to the CDC, the total number of visits to some hospital emergency rooms across the country for non-COVID-19 related conditions was 42 percent lower than this same time last year. The report shows the steepest decreases in visits were among children ages 14 and younger, as well as women, girls, and people living in the northeast region of the country.
The data was pulled from a subset of hospitals across 47 states but is limited. The report does not include all hospitals in the United States and only has information on ER visits, so people who may have sought treatment elsewhere would not be counted in this data.
The CDC recommends for people to keep using virtual doctor's visits and triage helplines during the pandemic, but not to hesitate seeking care for severe conditions, especially illnesses where every minute counts. As always, anyone having signs of a heart attack or stroke is urged to call 911 immediately.
While non-COVID-19 related ER visits have dropped, infectious disease-related visits were four times higher during the early pandemic period, according to the report.