Officials with Providence Holy Cross are urging residents to go to the emergency room if they need to, despite fears they may have regarding the coronavirus.
WATCH LIVE: Doctors with Providence Holy Cross Medical Center are urging residents to not delay visits to the emergency room in order to avoid preventable injuries and death.
Posted by KHTS Radio on Thursday, May 28, 2020
Dr. Jason Fisher, medical director for the emergency room at Providence Holy Cross, spoke outside of a mostly-empty emergency room (E.R.) Thursday to address an ongoing problem that Providence and hospitals around the country are facing amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“What we’re seeing in our E.R. and E.R.’s around the country is that people are delaying their care,” he said. “Don’t wait. We don’t want our patients to wait before coming into the emergency room.”
According to Fisher, many people are hesitant to go to the hospital if they think that they have COVID-19, which makes treatment much more difficult when they eventually do come in.
“If we’re given the opportunity to intervene earlier rather than later, we can really make a difference,” Fisher said.
However, COVID-19 is not the only medical issue that residents are reportedly delaying treatment for.
“They’re delaying care for heart attacks, strokes, appendicitis, problems that can be easily treated if we’re given the opportunity to intervene early,” Fisher said. “However, if there’s delays in care, there are complications, and the ultimate complication (is) death, unfortunately.”
This delay in care has had fatal consequences. Over a recent five day period, Providence Holy Cross saw eight patients die. For context, hospital officials reported seeing an average of one to two deaths at the hospital per week.
“I’ve been here for 15 years, and that struck me,” Fisher said. “I don’t want any more unnecessary deaths.”
Providence Holy Cross officials reported that they are seeing an average of 150 people in their emergency room daily, which is down from the 275 people they would see on average each day during the same time period last year.
Fisher attributes this sudden drop in patients to fears residents may have about coming into contact with individuals who may have COVID-19.
In order to address these concerns, Providence Holy Cross has implemented a series of precautionary protocols, which include:
- Screening everyone before they enter the facility
- Asking standard questions to determine if any patients or staff are experience symptoms of COVID-19
- Mandatory mask-wearing for both patients and staff
- Separate areas designated for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.
“Our E.R. and E.R.’s around the country have had two and half months to get this right,” he said. “I would argue that the hospital is one of the safest places to be out in public right now because of all of the precautions we’re taking.”
As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 1,160 cumulative cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Santa Clarita Valley since testing began in March. These include:
- 716 in the City of Santa Clarita
- 37 in the unincorporated areas of Canyon Country
- 340 in Castaic*
- As of Thursday, May 28, this included 278 cases among prisoners at the North County Correctional Facility, and 51 at the Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center.
- Four in the unincorporated areas of Saugus
- 34 in Stevenson Ranch
- Seven in the unincorporated areas of Valencia
- 21 in the unincorporated areas of Val Verde
- One in the unincorporated areas of Newhall
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