People avoiding the hospital could be worsening health issues

"Don't be like me. Don't ignore your symptoms," says Everett.
"Don't be like me. Don't ignore your symptoms," says Everett.(WKYT)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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Healthcare workers say the number of heart attacks and strokes they're treating has gone down, but many think it's not because fewer are suffering. They think people are afraid to go to hospitals during this pandemic.

"Don't be like me. Don't ignore your symptoms," says Carol Everett an RN at Baptist Health.

Everett says she experienced symptoms of a heart attack at work. Still, it took her 3 days to go see a doctor.

"I didn't want to add more work to what they were already having to deal with," Everett says.

Now Everett says this wasn't a good decision. She urges people who need help to start coming back to hospitals.

Everett says Baptist Health is taking every precaution to keep patients safe. They're washing hands, using PPE, and sanitizing everything. Everett shares Baptist is keeping COVID-19 patients on a separate floor. She says those who test positive are in negative pressure rooms, meaning air from those rooms doesn't circulate in the hallways.

Everett said she had a good outcome and she's back at work, but she worries others who wait might not be so lucky.

"Time is muscle, so if you're having symptoms the sooner you're treated, the better off your heart is," says Everett.

Everett says even if you come in and are not in immediate danger from a heart attack or stroke, you will still get the care you need.

According to the Mayo Clinic heart, attack symptoms to look out for include pressure, tightness, pain, or squeezing in your chest or arms that can spread to your neck, jaw, or back.