Alberta Health Services is telling Albertans to seek medical care if they need it.
In a press release Tuesday, AHS said they have seen a decline in winter hospital admissions for stroke and heart attack, a similar trend to last March and April, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to AHS delaying treatment for heart attack, stroke and other conditions can also have serious consequences. With these time-dependent conditions, effective, life-saving treatments are routinely used, but they need to be applied shortly after symptoms appear.
“Without treatment, you may end up dead – or seriously disabled,” said cardiologist Dr. Michelle Graham. “You may survive that heart attack while staying at home, but will be at much higher risk of developing heart failure, which has a worse prognosis than many cancers.”
AHS cited evidence that as little as 25 minutes can leave an additional 20 per cent of stroke patients with severe disability or death.
They added that there is some concern that Albertans are not seeking medical treatment out of concern for the virus and wanted to reassure citizens that it is safe to visit the hospital.