Johnson County MED-ACT has seen a marked decrease in calls regarding medical emergencies, specifically heart attacks, cardiac arrest and strokes and wonder if this phenomenon is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In conversations with our emergency department partners, they have also seen a decrease in those types of visits,” said Paul Davis, director and chief of Emergency Medical Services for Johnson County MED-ACT.
However, common sense tells us that these medical emergencies have not actually declined, but Davis said he wonders if the calls for help in these situations have been deferred due to the public’s fear of contracting coronavirus in medical emergency vehicles and hospitals.
Davis assures the public that precautions are being taken. “There is no need to fear infection. Every precaution has been taken to protect our E.M. S. staff, fire department first responders, hospital workers, and most importantly, there are processes in place to protect our patients through the use of personal protective equipment, and Johnson County MED-ACT decontaminates the ambulances after every patient.”
The vehicles are also sent through a sterilization process about twice a week.
Davis says if someone is experiencing the signs or symptoms of heart or stroke, that’s the time to call 911. “The longer we wait, the more damage there is to the heart muscle or the brain,” he cautioned. “The sooner, the better.”