A local health care professional says some stroke patients are waiting too long to seek care amid COVID-19 fears; he's urging patients to get to the emergency room as fast as possible.
Signs of a stroke include sudden changes such as face, arm, or leg weakness; trouble with speech, walking; or a sudden onset of confusion.
Cone Health's Dr. McNeill Kirkpatrick works with patients with neurological disorders. He says any of these symptoms is a reason to call 911. He says several patients have waited to seek care.
“If you're having a stroke, our options become much more limited after the first few hours," he says. "And the emergency department is absolutely still the place you want to be so that we can do everything we can to prevent disability over the long term.”
Kirkpatrick says that in March, Cone Health had a 20 percent decrease in their number of stroke patients. He says the health care system is taking precautions around COVID-19 and is still able to provide the same level of care for those suffering from a stroke.