This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: One out of every 20 deaths reported in America is related to a stroke.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With the coronavirus pandemic, health officials say not as many patients are seeking treatment for strokes.
One out of every 20 reported deaths in America is from a stroke every year according to the CDC. While those numbers aren’t changing, Dr. Divyajot Sandhu says the amount of people seeking care is.
“Less people then is the norm have been seeking care and this is actually a national phenomenon,” Dr. Divyajot Sandhu said.
With the coronavirus pandemic at the forefront of people’s minds, Sandhu says not as many people are calling for help across the country, as well as right here in KELOLAND.
He says two reasons may be to blame: fear of catching the virus, or fear of already having it and passing it to others.
“I think it’s a mix of both. However, the important thing to remember is, especially in our context, especially in the context of Sioux Falls, especially in the context of at least what’s going on at Sanford, we do not have a hospital system which is overrun by COVID patients,” Sandhu said.
He says an abundance of caution is being taken to ensure everyone’s safety at Sanford, and urges anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of a stroke to seek help immediately.
“Just because you are concerned for your welfare and also the welfare of other people that might come in contact with you, or have come in contact with you, that is not good enough reason to not seek care. Seek care, activate EMS, and if it seems that you need to be isolated for your protection and for the protection of other people that will be done,” Sandhu said.
And do so quickly, because he says time is crucial when dealing with a stroke.
“Time is brain. The more time you lose the more neurons, or cells you lose and once you do lose them they, unfortunately, do not come back,” Sandhu said.
Which is why he hopes people who need care won’t avoid seeking it.
“It is no less dangerous, no less serious a disease because we do have the virus now,” Sandhu said.
For a list of signs and symptoms of a stroke, click here.