• Cardiovascular Disease Doesn't Stop for COVID-19

    1/13/2021

    Stay in Care: Maintaining your health can't wait for COVID-19
    Routine care can make a life-saving difference

    • Heart disease is still the #1 killer of Americans, and it's not waiting in quarantine 
    • For patients with progressive illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, it's more important than ever to maintain regular appointments, move forward with planned procedures and stay in care. 
    • For African Americans and Latinxs who are already disproportionately impacted by heart disease and COVID-19, this is even more important than ever


    Seconds Count Survey Highlights
    New research shows many Americans aren't maintaining their overall health through routine care due to fears of COVID-19

    • About 40% of Americans do not feel safe going to a doctor's office during COVID-19 
    • More than 30% of Americans have not had a routine check-up with their doctor since the COVID-19 pandemic began
    • More than half (51%) of people do not feel comfortable scheduling a medical procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Only 25% of Black and African Americans and 29% of Latinxs would be comfortable scheduling a medical procedure
    • Only 33.72% of Black and African Americans and 34.02% of Latinx respondents would be comfortable going to a hospital for an emergency while COVID-19 is still a risk, compared to 58.21% of the general population
    • More people are afraid of contracting COVID-19 (58%) than having a heart attack or stroke (42%)


    Doctor's offices and Hospitals Are Here to Care for You No Matter What

    Doctor's offices are equipped to continue regular care appointments. Hospitals are ready to handle medical emergencies and have procedures in place to keep both patients and healthcare workers safe from COVID-19. Fear of contracting COVID-19 should not stop you from going to the doctor's office for a routine visit, or to the hospital ER. 

    • Doctor's offices and hospitals have processes and safety measures in place to keep you separate from COVID-19 patients, including:
      • Checking temperatures
      • Requiring masks
      • Limiting number of visitors
      • Practicing social distancing in waiting rooms

     

    Cardiac Care During COVID-19: 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor 

    Cardiovascular disease is not under self-isolation. Those who have chronic illnesses, particularly cardiovascular disease, should continue to regularly communicate with their physician including regular check-ups and ongoing monitoring of symptoms.

    1. What precautions are hospitals/doctor offices taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
    2. What are the best ways to prepare for my doctor appointment?
    3. How do I handle my regularly scheduled annual EKG appointment?
    4. Is telemedicine an option for some appointments?
    5. What other ongoing monitoring options are available to me?


    When it Comes to Heart Attacks & Strokes: COVID-19 Fear Can Be Fatal
    Cardiovascular disease does not stop for COVID-19. If you, or a loved one, experience symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, do not delay care. When it comes to saving your life, seconds still count.

    • During a heart attack or stroke, every second ticking by impacts your chance of survival. Delaying diagnosis and treatment means you’re at greater risk of complications – or even death. 

      • During a heart attack, just 90 minutes is the window of time to receive treatment for the best possible outcome (AHA)
      • Arriving to the hospital early (within 6 hours) of ischemic stroke is key to a favorable outcome (AHA)

    • Cardiovascular disease does not stop for COVID-19. While Americans should practice social distancing to avoid COVID-19, people need to know heart disease is still the #1 killer of Americans – and it’s not hiding in quarantine.

    • Hospitals are equipped to treat COVID-19 AND other life-threatening health emergencies. Delaying care for emergencies can be a bigger threat to American’s health than the virus itself.


    Know the Common Symptoms of a Heart Attack or Stroke

    Don’t Wait. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 or go to the hospital as soon as possible. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, as these could be signs of heart attack or stroke:

    • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest
    • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
    • Shortness of breath with chest discomfort
    • Face drooping
    • Speech difficulty

     

    SCAI acknowledges and thanks Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Chiesi, Abbott, and Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.,  for their support of the Seconds Still Count campaign