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Posted: May 22, 2020 3:01 PMUpdated: May 22, 2020 4:32 PM

Local Physician: Do Not Delay Seeking Emergency Care

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Garrett Giles

For people experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, respiratory distress, emergent mental health concerns or other acute illness or injury, a hospital emergency room is still the safest, most appropriate place to get care.

Even though they are caring for patients with COVID-19, Dr. Michael Ogle, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Ascension St. John Jane Phillips in Bartlesville, wants to reassure the public that individuals who need emergency care should not delay treatment. An emergency is still an emergency. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips Hospital and emergency room are well prepared to safely care for people with symptoms of heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions.

Dr. Ogle said they are seeing a concerning drop in the number of people coming in for serious non-COVID-related issues. He said staying home, ignoring the symptoms and suffering out of fear of COVID-19 is a risk people should not take with their health.

Timely treatment is critically important for achieving the best outcomes and lessening the risk of complications. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips is prepared and set up to safely treat patients who require emergency care. No patient should delay their care in an emergency. Jane Phillips is doing everything in their power to follow CDC guidelines to ensure that no one gets infected.

Urgent Care is open now. It was closed temporarily because of COVID-19. Urgent Care is open Monday through Saturday until 7:00 p.m.

Ascension St. John Jane Phillips hospitals are equipped to safely protect patients from potential exposure to COVID-19 while taking care of their chest pain, stroke symptoms, traumatic injuries, emotional and mental health and any other acute medical or surgical needs. Separate intake and care areas, waiting room distancing, staff screening, ongoing use of personal protective equipment, as well as extensive safety and sanitization protocols, are in place to ensure all patients are cared for in a protected environment. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips continuously monitors guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and adjusts safety practices and safeguards accordingly.

Dr. Ogle said is is critical to go to the ER if you are experiencing symptoms like pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back; shortness of breath; or nausea or lightheadedness, as these all may be signs of a heart attack. He said the types of symptoms that required emergency care in the past still require emergency care now. He said they are still treating patients suffering heart attack and stroke, and they are taking the utmost precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ascension providers also encourage individuals who have pre-existing conditions to continue their routine care to stay healthy. Call your primary care provider or specialist first to discuss whether an online visit is an option for your care.

If you can’t talk to your regular doctor, or if you need care more quickly, you can talk to a doctor 24/7 through Ascension Online Care.

Available for the entire family, Ascension Online Care offers video visits for urgent care using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. No insurance is required. To get started, download Ascension Online Care from the App Store or Google Play or visit ascension.org/onlinecare to learn more.

If clinicians identify changes in a person’s health, they can help them better manage it or decide where and how a person might need to be seen and treated. However, if someone is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, difficulty breathing, or warning signs of a heart attack or stroke, they should not delay, but go directly to the emergency room or dial 911.

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