As North Texas gets used to a “new normal,” regional EMTs are starting to notice a new trend with their emergency medical calls.
As expected COVID-19 related calls rise, but other medical calls have started declining.
“MedStar’s overall response volume is down 11% and transports to the hospital are down 31% from what it was in January,” MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said.
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“DFR has noticed an increase in the number of responses we’ve made to people who think they may have, or do have, COVID-19,” Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said. “There does seem to be an overall decrease in the call volume not associated with the virus.”
The reason for the decrease seems to be twofold.
“People are staying home, so there are fewer car crashes and other medical calls that you would typically see when people are ‘out and about,’” Zavadsky said. “We’re hearing from our crews that people are hesitant to go to the hospital out of fear of contracting Coronavirus, so people may not be calling 911 to go to the hospital.”
People are not seeking needed medical treatment because of fear of the coronavirus at hospitals is a troubling trend for emergency medical officials.
“Overall we are very concerned that people are not calling 911 when they should and therefore minor medical issues could become worse and result in higher acute medical complaints,” Zavadsky said. “So, we really encourage people to please call 911. Let the medical experts figure out what’s the right position for you and let us come help you.”