Irish Medical Organisation

IMO warns that patients may be ignoring serious ailments as a result of #Covid19

Urges patients not to ignore any concerns they may have about non Covid-19 ailments

Sunday 29th March 2020.  The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned that patients with serious ailments or who have ongoing chronic illnesses and are ignoring their symptoms may be avoiding visits to GP surgeries or Emergency Departments as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Dr. Padraig McGarry, President of the IMO and a practising GP, said there were concerns from GPs around the country that patients may be delaying consulting their GP about non Covid-19 health issues because of concerns about the virus.  He said; “It is important that patients with medical conditions other than non-Covid-19 are assessed by their GP.  The reality is that other ailments don’t simply go on pause when there is a pandemic and sometimes a visit delayed or cancelled may lead to a more serious issue further down the line.”   Dr. McGarry urged patients who may want to consult  a GP not to hesitate to  phone the surgery (rather than visit) where the GP can assess their situation and advise on next steps.”

Dr. Mick Molloy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine in Wexford General Hospital, echoed these concerns; “While we are acutely aware of the national emergency COVID-19 has placed on us, it is important to remember this pandemic does not prevent other diseases from occurring nor does it prevent patients becoming acutely unwell from other infections.  The population will still experience heart attacks, strokes, appendicitis,, acute viral illnesses, kidney stones, acute psychiatric illness, abdominal pains and acutely unwell children who will need to be seen in emergency departments.”

Dr. Molloy said; “emergency departments are still open for such conditions and others.  Please do not delay seeking attention for urgent conditions to avoid becoming seriously unwell.”

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