Dr. Kirk Garratt says the Society of Cardiovascular, Angiography and Interventions Center constructed a survey in May of 2020 and learned that an alarming percentage of Americans said they would not only avoid doctors visits but they wouldn’t even go the emergency room if they thought they were having a heart attack or stroke because they were so afraid of COVID 19. He says they repeated the survey in December to see if things have changed and he is happy to report that fewer people are saying they would stay away in those dire circumstances and yet an alarming one in four Americans still say they won’t go to their doctor’s appointments because they don’t want to get infected. He goes on to say that if you look at African American populations and Latino populations what you find is that number jumps to about 45%. Dr. Garratt says he is very alarmed and very concerned that we haven’t done the job we need to do reassure Americans that we know how to deliver health care safely in the doctor’s offices, in the medical units of the hospital and in emergency rooms. He says we should not avoid getting needed care because of anxiety over COVID 19. He goes on to say that COVID has become the leading cause of death in America and that is tragic but don’t forget in other circumstances cardio vascular disease holds that unfortunate title and cardio vascular deaths and injuries have not stopped happening in the background.
Dr. Garratt says he is here to reassure people that healthcare providers know how to care for you safely. All health care organizations are fully committed to addressing those gaps in care that seem to, and see to that all populations of our neighbors have access to the care that they need.