COVID-19 aka the coronavirus has certainly upended our way of life and will likely continue to do so for some time to come. It is hard to keep up with information concerning the virus as new data is being released every day, sometimes contradicting data or information that was released only a couple of days before.
In some parts of the country and in some segments of society, COVID-19 has been devastating. However, across the country an equally devastating trend is also developing. People who are ill from other disease processes are not seeking proper medical care. People who are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, stroke-like symptoms or other serious signs or symptoms are not calling 911 or seeking care in emergency rooms. The reason appears to be that people are apprehensive or afraid riding in an ambulance or going to the ER either from fear of catching COVID-19 or fear of violating stay at home orders. There are a rising number of cases of people who are experiencing serious health issues and are waiting too long to seek care, sometimes with devastating results. Strokes or heart attacks have been allowed to go untreated for too long and permanent damage has been done. In some cases, death has occurred, needlessly.
If you are having a medical emergency, it is vital that you seek immediate care. Ambulance services, hospitals and medical providers have extensive measures in place to insure a clean and healthy environment for them and you. Wiscasset Ambulance and local medical facilities have spent countless hours preparing to deal with this outbreak. We have obtained sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), stocked up on disinfectants, cleaners and other equipment. Our staff is proficient in the wearing of PPE and proper techniques for cleaning and disinfecting of our patient equipment and ambulances. Protocols have been put in effect and are strictly adhered to, to keep everyone safe, including you.
If you are having a medical emergency, do not wait. Call 911 or report to the emergency room.