Heart

Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors As Heart Attack And Stroke Patients Delay Care

The patient described it as the worst headache of her life. She didn’t go to the hospital, though. Instead, the Washington state resident waited almost a week.

When Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary finally saw her, he discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.

The neurosurgeon did his best, but it was too late.

“As a result, she had multiple other strokes and ended up passing away,” said Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Washington. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent.”

Chowdhary said the patient, a stroke survivor in her mid-50s, had told him she was frightened of the hospital.

She was afraid of the coronavirus.

The fallout from such fear has concerned U.S. doctors for weeks while they have tracked a worrying trend: As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the number of patients showing up at hospitals with serious

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Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients

While the focus of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on respiratory problems and securing enough ventilators, doctors on the front lines are grappling with a new medical mystery.

In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems — and dying of cardiac arrest.

As more data comes in from China and Italy, as well as Washington state and New York, more cardiac experts are coming to believe the COVID-19 virus can infect the heart muscle. An initial study found cardiac damage in as many as 1 in 5 patients, leading to heart failure and death even among those who show no signs of respiratory distress.

That could change the way doctors and hospitals need to think about patients, particularly in the early stages of illness. It also could open up a second front in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, with a need for new precautions

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