(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Emergency room doctors have been on the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus.
One local ER doctor says people, with or without the virus, should not be afraid of coming to the emergency room.
"You know, the fear is that there may be a sub-pandemic happening where people are so afraid to come to the hospital,” Director of Emergency Medicine at Mosaic Life Care, Dr. Jeremy Hunter said.
Doctors worry that patients with severe illnesses may be making their conditions worse by avoiding the ER. It's something Dr. Hunter has seen firsthand.
“Where people are so afraid to come to a hospital, they are septic, staying home, having an MI, they are having little stroke symptoms, where they are afraid to come to the emergency department because of catching this," Dr. Hunter said.
Dr. Hunter says the fear of catching the novel coronavirus is keeping people from going to a hospital for help, but they don’t need to be afraid.
“I understand their concern but those things need treatment and we’re doing truly everything we can to limit that exposure risk," Dr. Hunter said.
At Mosaic Life Care they've set up two entrances for ER patients, one for typical emergencies and the other is for people with Covid symptoms and concerns. It is in a separate area with 18 negative air pressure rooms, or rooms that stop diseases from escaping.
"I feel safer at work than I do in a regular store because of all of the measures that we have in place,” Dr. Hunter said.
Dr. Hunter says the hospital is continuing to take proper precautions.
“Good hand hygiene, good social distancing techniques. you know, we've been wearing masks in public,” Dr. Hunter said.
Doctors are still stressing that if you are having an emergency, to still go to the hospital.