Fear of COVID-19 reduces ER visits and increases deaths at home in Broward

Fear Of COVID-19 Reduces ER Visits And Increases Deaths At Home In Broward

Miami – Fear of contagion with the coronavirus has reduced nearly 50% of visits to emergency rooms for other illnesses in Florida’s Broward county and has almost doubled the number of patients who die at home, local authorities warned Tuesday.

Patients currently hesitate to call the emergency number (911), go to the emergency room or even schedule consultations for cancer detection for fear of contagion, said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, medical director of the Broward Health Medical Center, at the city ​​Fort Lauderdale, north of Miami.

He clarified that patients are provided with a mask if they do not yet wear it, undergo the COVID-19 test to be admitted to the hospital or when they undergo a procedure.


In April 2019, more than 2,068 patients arrived at the hospital after emergency calls, in contrast to 1,230 last April, the health organization detailed.

In addition, the comparison of the same month in both years showed that almost twice as many people died when first responders arrived at homes (55-29).

On the other hand, the number of patients arriving with strokes and heart attacks has plummeted since last March in the Broward Health Medical Center system, that institution warned in a press conference.

“Early access to health care in this country remains the best we have to treat people,” Lenchus emphasized.

The pattern looks like it will continue this May, the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department (FLFR) in Broward, one of the two counties most affected by the pandemic, said during the press conference.

“When you start talking to these families, they tell you that they had signs and symptoms, or that they had trouble breathing last night when they went to bed, but also that they were afraid to call 911 because of COVID-19 in hospitals,” said Stephen Gollan. , head of FLRF.

The Broward Health system wants to remove that fear and convince county residents that hospitals are clean, safe, and take extra precautions.

“It means the difference between life and death,” remarked Dr. Lenchus.

According to the state Department of Health, today the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida add up to 41,923, while deaths from the disease amount to 1,779.

In Broward County, the second most affected, there are currently 5,973 cases and 258 people have died as a result of the new coronavirus.

The United States remains the world’s largest focus of the new coronavirus pandemic in absolute terms, with 1.35 million cases and more than 80,000 deaths, according to the unofficial count by Johns Hopkins University.