What If I Have a Medical Emergency That’s Not Coronavirus?

Don't delay seeking help

The current health crisis means sheltering in place and social distancing, but it shouldn’t delay you in seeking help if you experience a medical emergency that’s not coronavirus.

Chest pain, slurred speech, sudden weakness, serious burns, broken bones, severe cuts – these are all examples of emergencies in which you should call 911 or go to the hospital emergency room, despite the pandemic.

Don’t let the fear of exposure to COVID-19 prevent you from seeking emergency care fast. Hospitals and health care providers have made accommodations for COVID-19 to ensure they can also care safely for other health care problems that their emergency rooms encounter every day. For example, many hospitals have erected tents and temporary structures outside of ER entrances to better identify and isolate those with the virus.

“Under no circumstances should our members avoid calling 911 or going to an emergency room when an issue poses an immediate risk to their life or long-term health, during this pandemic or at any other time,” said Dr. Claire Levesque, chief medical officer for Tufts Health Plan Commercial Products. “Every minute that someone delays increases the chance they will have a worse outcome. It can mean the difference between life and death.”

In Boston, the medical community recently released a public service announcement about medical emergencies and the coronavirus. You can view it here.