As non-COVID-19 patients return to Chicago-area emergency rooms, doctors see skyrocketing blood pressure and other side effects of delays in care. ‘It’s terrible, and it’s frightening.’

From the Tribune:

After a lull in emergency room visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors at four Chicago emergency rooms told the Tribune they have seen an increase in non-COVID-19 patients in the past few weeks, along with signs that some patients are suffering because of pandemic-related delays in care.

Some of the affected patients avoided hospitals or doctors’ offices due to fears of getting COVID-19; others had trouble getting treatment due to job loss, health insurance loss or disruptions in the health care system, doctors said.

The American College of Emergency Physicians had previously found that patients were delaying care because of fears of contracting COVID-19, but reports from Chicago emergency rooms and an interview with ACEP President-elect Dr. Mark Rosenberg indicate that doctors are now seeing the results of some of those delays: actual harm to patients.

“(Patients) are having bad health outcomes because of untimely care. It’s terrible, and it’s frightening to see that,” said Rosenberg.

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