The American Heart Association and The Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) are issuing a strong call to the Northern Nevada community: If you are experiencing a health emergency, please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. While the COVID-19 pandemic has people thinking twice about calling for help, local medical experts stress how important it is to reach out.
“In any health emergency, time is of the essence,” said Dean Dow, president and CEO, REMSA and American Heart Association Northern Nevada board member. “We understand the uncertainty someone may feel about calling 9-1-1 during this pandemic, but if you are experiencing symptoms that may be due to a heart attack or stroke or other life-threatening emergencies, please make that call so you can have the greatest chance possible at survival. If you have serious symptoms, do not ignore them and be assured that our healthcare providers know what to do to keep you safe during COVID-19.”
Across the nation, there are media reports of fewer heart patients coming into hospitals. Here in Northern Nevada, REMSA is seeing an 18 percent drop, year over year in some priority calls which include chest pain, cardiac arrest and cerebral vascular accident. Specifically, REMSA is tracking a 23 percent drop for calls related to chest pain and a seven percent decline for calls related to stroke symptoms.
“As a volunteer for the American Heart Association, one of our main messages to the community is that time is so important if you’re suffering from a heart attack or a stroke,” said Dow. “The sooner you can get proper medical treatment, the more likely you can survive and recover from your health emergency. Our team at REMSA is here for you in times of crisis. Please let us help you.”
If media would like an interview on this issue, please contact Alexia Jobson, REMSA’s Public Affairs Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can provide Aaron Abbott, Executive Director of EMS Operations, or Adam Heinz, Executive Director, Integrated Health at REMSA, for comment.