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Patients with heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis vanish from hospitals

Washington Post – “Soon after he repurposed his 60-bed cardiac unit to accommodate covid-19 patients, Mount Sinai cardiovascular surgeon John Puskas was stumped: With nearly all the beds now occupied by victims of the novel coronavirus, where had all the heart patients gone? Even those left almost speechless by crushing chest pain weren’t coming through the ER. Variations on that question have puzzled clinicians not only in New York, the most severe area of the U.S. outbreak, but across the country and in Spain, the United Kingdom and China. Five weeks into a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, many doctors say the pandemic has produced a silent sub-epidemic of people who need care at hospitals but dare not come in. They include people with inflamed appendixes, infected gall bladders, bowel obstructions and, more ominously, chest pains and stroke symptoms, according to these physicians and early research. “Everybody is frightened to come to the ER,” Puskas said…

Some doctors worry that illness and mortality from unaddressed health problems may rival the carnage produced in regions less affected by covid-19, the disease the virus causes. And some expect they will soon see patients who have dangerously delayed seeking care as ongoing symptoms force them to overcome their fear…”

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