Cedars-Sinai Sees Decline In Non-Coronavirus ER Visits During Pandemic

The Cedars-Sinai ER has seen 30 percent fewer patients between March 1 and April 15 compared to the same time period in 2019. 

Cedars-Sinai Sees Decline In Non-Coronavirus ER Visits During Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s emergency room is seeing a decline in visits from non-coronavirus patients during the pandemic.

Dr. Sam Torbati, the co-director of the hospital’s ER, said Thursday that he sees patients every day who have delayed their ER visit out of fear that they will be exposed to COVID-19. He urged people not to be afraid to seek necessary medical care.

“They tell me about something that’s been brewing,” Torbati said. “They say, `I was afraid [to seek medical help’.'”

He said that delaying emergency medical care can be dangerous and lowers ER doctors’ ability to help once help is sought.

“We’re available. We have a lot of capacity. We don’t want them to have fear,” Torbati said, noting that patients who are suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms are isolated.

The Cedars-Sinai ER has seen 30 percent fewer patients between March 1 and April 15 compared to the same time period in 2019.

Torbati said some reduction is expected, due to stay-at-home orders impacting the number of major trauma cases, including car accidents, shootings, and stabbings. However, he said there has been a drop in visits from other cases that the ER normally treats and that would not necessarily be impacted by stay-at-home orders.

The emergency physician said he fears a spike in non-coronavirus-related deaths, especially in people who have serious health issues.

“Hospitals like Cedars-Sinai have processes in place to ensure people’s safety,” he said. “The fear of picking up COVID-19 in a hospital, I understand it… [but] emergencies are things where time makes a difference.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Source : CBS Los Angeles More