Indirect Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on ED Visits for Acute Life-Threatening Conditions
(June 26, 2020) – In the 10 weeks following declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency, emergency department visits nationwide declined 23 percent for heart attack, 20 percent for stroke, and 10 percent for hyperglycemic crisis, according to a report
issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the June 22 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
. CDC used data from its National Syndromic Surveillance Program to assess trends in ED visits January – May 2020. Persons experiencing severe chest pain, sudden or partial loss of motor function, altered mental status, signs of extreme hyperglycemia or other life-threatening issues, should call 9-1-1, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued clear communication from public health and health care professionals is needed to reinforce the importance of timely emergency care for acute health conditions.