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Whether you should go to the hospital during COVID-19 is a matter of fierce debate right now. Some healthcare professionals maintain that it is too dangerous for vulnerable adults, while others say that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Who should you believe? And what should you do?
Ultimately, whether you will make the decision whether or not to go to the hospital, you need to speak with your doctor first about what to do. For most going to the hospital depends on your individual risk profile. In some cases, you can get exactly the same quality of medical treatment in your home and don’t have to travel to specialist facilities where you might pick up an infection but that might be lots worse.
Obviously, if your life is in danger, you should go to the hospital ASAP! Allergic reactions, strokes, heart attacks, bleeding, and other injuries and problems all require immediate medical attention that can’t delay.
What Do The Official Guidelines Say?
The official guidelines are quite vague on whether you should go to the hospital or not.
According to current public health advice, your decision depends on the number of people sick with COVID-19 in your area and whether your area is still under lockdown.
Doctors are, in many cases, taking matters into their own hands, limiting routine visits, and preventing people from visiting the clinic or hospital. A family member of mine has had to go to the hospital several times over this past fall and his wife was initially not allowed into the hospital for part of those visits.
Elective or “planned” procedures are also taking a backseat because of the perceived risks. There are delayed in certain tests such as MRIs because the time it takes to sterilized the entire room and equipment causes delays. The same family member has had to wait for a long period of time for his much needed MRI due to COVID.
Usually, your doctor will be able to provide you with more personalized advice on whether you should show up at the hospital. Most facilities are now operating an appointment-only operation which might be pushed back to a later date depending on if it is an elective surgery, unless, of course, it’s a medical emergency.
Check If You Can Get Treatment At Home
If you’re ill but still not sure what to do, work out whether you can get treatment at home. Speak with your doctor about options and also check with your health care insurance.
At the start of the pandemic, options for many patients were few and far between. But the market is adapting. And now you can treat many medical conditions without being in the hospital setting.
Just take a look at what’s been happening in the hospital bed market. It turns out that you can now rent genuine hospital beds for your home, allowing you to adjust your position and protect your bedding against bodily fluids.
A lot of doctors are also going back to home visits, especially if you have private medical insurance. Again, this service lets you receive treatment at home, instead of having to travel to a hospital where you could become infected.
Get A Virtual Appointment
If you need a consultation, the vast bulk of medical professionals are now offering virtual meetings. These are essentially identical to visiting the doctor’s office but without the risk of contracting any nasty diseases in the process.
During COVID-19, it is more important than ever before that people keep up with their medications. If you’ve been prescribed drugs for chronic conditions, be sure to take them. Many of these reduce all-cause mortality, including from viruses, so they might help you fight off the coronavirus as well.
If you do visit the hospital, be sure to remain at a safe distance from everyone else and wear a face mask. Try to wash your hands and avoid touching your face. And be sure to follow any protocols to avoid germs or catching anything extra while at the hospital.
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