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Fear of Covid-19 Can Kill

April 19, 2020 @ 6:20 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

We have discussed who is at the highest risk of death from Covid-19 or other diseases or injuries.  The usual suspects.  Those with serious chronic diseases:  Elderly, especially male; Diabetes, especially poorly controlled; Heart disease and blood pressure problems; Lung diseases like COPD, Asthma, Emphysema, especially those dependent on oxygen or inhalers.

None of these can be cured, but all can be controlled or made less severe.  That requires careful management.  Labs, other tests, discussion with the managing healthcare provider often need to be done every month or 2 or 3.  Medications need to be adjusted.  Careful management of chronic disease is not “elective”.  It is “essential”.

Fear of Covid-19 is keeping many with unstable chronic diseases from their usual testing and management.  Others delay going to hospital for worsening symptoms.  Waiting until your problems are severe makes even ICU care less likely to succeed.

Telemedicine can be an answer, but talk only is not as good as being able to see the patient.  Many older persons do not have a computer or smart phone which would make them visible to their healthcare provider.  Drawing blood tests by phone does not work either.

Most hospitals and many doctor’s offices are mostly empty making social distancing feasible.  Call your healthcare provider to arrange for needed management of your disease.  Adjustments can be made such as Drive-Thru Care.

Do not let fear of Covid-19 put you at greater risk of complications of your pre-existing chronic disease.

Jay Ginther, MD

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