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Fear of COVID-19 Keeping Adults From Emergency Care

About 80 percent of poll respondents concerned about contracting COVID-19 from another patient, visitor

woman holding her head

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Adults are avoiding emergency medical care for fear of catching COVID-19, according to a poll released April 28 by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Morning Consult conducted the online poll of 2,201 adults between April 18 and April 20, 2020.

The survey revealed that more than one-quarter of adults (29 percent) have actively delayed or avoided seeking medical care due to concerns about contracting the coronavirus. About 80 percent of respondents said they would be concerned about contracting COVID-19 from another patient or visitor if they need to go to the emergency department. Similarly, three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) would be concerned that a trip to the emergency department could overstress the health care system. Respondents across every demographic (97 percent overall) agree that it is very important for the federal government to support efforts to increase access to protective equipment for emergency physicians. Further, the vast majority of respondents (91 percent) believe emergency physicians should receive hazard pay.

"Waiting to see a doctor if you think you're having a medical emergency could be life threatening," William Jaquis, M.D., president of ACEP, said in a statement. "While it's important to stay home and follow social distancing guidelines, it's critical to always know when to go to the emergency department."

ACEP Report

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