Survey shows COVID-19 causing many people to delay seeking medical help
Orlando, FL — A majority of Americans are hesitant to go to the hospital – even for emergencies – if the number of local COVID-19 cases is high, results of a recent survey commissioned by the Orlando Health Heart and Vascular Institute suggest.
The Harris Poll conducted an online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults from Dec. 4 to Dec. 7. Results show that 57% of respondents strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement, “I would be hesitant to go to the doctor’s office/hospital for an emergency when COVID-19 cases are high in my area.”
“Because of the extensive protocols in place, COVID-19 transmissions in hospitals are very rare,” Joel Garcia, an interventional cardiologist at the institute, said in a press release. “There is more risk in not paying attention to symptoms or medical conditions than the benefit of staying home thinking you will not get exposed to COVID-19.”
Among the other results, 62% of the respondents said they would have more concerns about going to routine medical appointments when local COVID-19 cases are high. Nearly half said they wouldn’t reschedule missed appointments until infection rates reduce, and 49% worry their health will suffer because of those missed appointments.
“I understand their hesitation,” Steven Hoff, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the institute, said in the release. “But there’s no question, across diagnoses, whether for chronic or acute conditions, the later in the disease process that we see people and can intervene, the worse their outcomes.”