Lutheran Health Network Urges Community to Seek Critical, Non-COVID Care When Needed

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (May 14, 2020) Lutheran Health Network is urging the local community to seek emergency care when it is needed – without delay. If you experience a medical emergency, such as chest pain that may be a heart attack or stroke symptoms, receiving care in a timely manner will support the best possible outcome. LHN is taking extra precautions in response to COVID-19 by going above and beyond normal efforts to keep our facilities clean and safe for our patients and caregivers. 

The latest campaign by the American Heart Association (AHA) – Be Certain In Uncertain Times – reinforces the critical need to secure treatment as soon as possible. The AHA is working to remind everyone that heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrests don’t stop for COVID-19.

“Seeking immediate care at the local hospital or with a health care provider if it is needed is so incredibly important,” said Vishal Bhatia, MD, Regional Chief Medical Officer. “If one is having a medical emergency or is in need of emergent care which can prevent additional harm or relieve pain, there is no reason to delay.”

Heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest symptoms are always urgent and it is highly recommended to call 911 without hesitation. Emergency workers know how to protect and care for patients exhibiting these symptoms. Emergencies will not stop for COVID-19.

“Safety always remains our highest priority and we are taking serious action to enhance infection prevention, restrict access to our facilities and support social distancing to maintain a safe environment for patients who need urgent medical care,” stated Natalie Seaber, RN, CNML, Regional Chief Nursing Officer.

Among the precautions currently implemented throughout the network, all individuals who enter any LHN facility, including staff, will be screened. Additionally, employees, physicians and patients are expected to wear masks. Care for any individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is delivered in a restricted, isolated area away from other patients. Cleaning and disinfection are emphasized in caregiving areas and throughout the facility, including high-touch items like door handles, elevator buttons, tables and chairs. 

Receiving urgent medical treatment could be the difference between life and death. LHN urges the community to pay close attention to the signs of a health emergency and act quickly. Call 911, go to the hospital and get the help you need.

KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Heart Attack

  • -Chest discomfort.
  • -Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
  • -Shortness of breath.
  • -Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • -Signs for women
  • -Women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain. Some women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Remember to act F.A.S.T. for Stroke

  • -Face drooping; Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
  • -Arm weakness; Is one arm weak or numb?
  • -Speech difficulty; Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand?
  • -If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Cardiac Arrest

  • -Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly.
  • -Within seconds a person becomes unresponsive, is not breathing or is only gasping.
  • -Survival depends on getting immediate CPR.

For more information about the steps taken to maintain a safe environment of care, click here

The foundation of Lutheran Health Network is built on an experienced team of more than 7,000 employees working together with the more than 800 physicians who compose its medical staffs. The network’s more than 100 access points in northern Indiana include physician offices, urgent care clinics, outpatient centers and eight hospitals. 

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Media Contacts

Kara Stevenson
Communications Coordinator
(260) 435-7892
kstevenson@lhn.net

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