Patients With Pre-existing Conditions At Higher Risk If They Contract COVID-19

The number of heart attack and stroke patients being admitted to emergency rooms has decreased in the wake of COVID-19, raising concerns among healthcare professionals.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Michigan, doctors are reminding patients with preexisting conditions to take extra precautions. Patients with high blood pressure, heart conditions, and diabetes have a higher risk of serious complications if they get COVID-19.

Doctor George Hanzel is an interventional cardiologist at Beaumont Royal Oak. He said it’s always important to seek medical attention, especially when the signs of a heart attack presents itself. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, “There are many examples of people that tough it out at home with a heart attack and don’t seek medical care, unfortunately,” says Hanzel.

Since March, doctors have noticed that fewer heart attacks and stroke cases arriving in the emergency room. While that may seem like a positive trend, doctors knew it meant patients were dying at home from heart conditions in order to avoid the hospital altogether.

Dr. Hanzel explains that though there’s a cultural “pandemic fatigue,” people need to remain vigilant about their health, especially individuals who are at high risk of developing additional complications if they contract coronavirus, like patients who are obese, or have diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, and heart disease. 

The most important thing to remember is to wear your mask and wash your hands as often as possible, according to Dr. Hanzel.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.