Man sat at home while suffering a heart attack due to concerns he would be a ‘burden’ on busy doctors – sparking warning to the critically ill they should still seek hospital care during coronavirus crisis
- Man who had heart attack in his house said he did not want to ‘burden’ doctors
- Medical experts are assuring the public hospitals are able to treat sick people
- Hospitals and pathology labs report a decline in cases since COVID-19 outbreak
- One of the reasons Australians can leave their house is to get medical care
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Critically sick people are being told they should still go to the hospital even during the coronavirus pandemic, after one man suffered a heart attack in his house because he did not want to be a ‘burden’ to busy medical staff.
Health experts have said the public needs to know that even during the COVID-19 crisis, hospitals can also treat people for other serious conditions.
‘The message we really need to get out to the public is that we have the capacity to look after sick people,’ head of trauma anaesthesia at The Alfred hospital, Associate Professor John Moloney, told the SMH on Tuesday.
Sick Australians are being reassured they can still get treatment at hospitals (Medical professionals administer COVID-19 tests at the Bondi Beach drive-through COVID-19 testing center on April 06, 2020 in Sydney)
‘We know there are patients already staying home with heart attacks because they don’t want to be a burden. If a person needs acute healthcare, they should absolutely get acute healthcare. We want people to know that we are here and ready to treat them.’
The Victorian man had been suffering chest pains for five days before he had the heart attack and was revived by paramedics.
He later told doctors he did not go the the hospital earlier because he ‘did not want to be a burden to busy hospital staff’.
Professor Maloney said new hospital cases at The Alfred were down by 50 per cent which he estimates would be the same for many hospitals in the country.
Australia’s pathology sector has also recorded that routine tests have plunged by 40 per cent in the last month.
Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia CEO Dr Debra Graves assures patients it is still safe to visit a laboratory for tests, as pathology providers were experts in infectious diseases and following best practices.
One of the four reasons people are allowed to leave their house during COVID-19 lockdowns is to get medical care.
Telehealth consults are also being covered under Medicare for some people.
Professor Maloney said new hospital cases at The Alfred were down by 50 per cent which he estimates would be the same for many hospitals in the country and said hospitals still have the capacity to treat patients who need acute care