OSU Medical Wexner Doctor: “It’s ok to call 911 if you feel like you need to call 911”


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The coronavirus pandemic has many people afraid to go into public, especially to a hospital where we are seeing high numbers of staff members getting infected with the disease.

The Division Director of Cardiac Surgery at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said people should not hesitate.

“It’s OK to call 911 if you feel like you need to call 911,” said Dr. Nahush Mokadam.

The Columbus Division Fire is not seeing any change in the number of emergency runs, even with the increase of COVID-19 patients, but they are prepared to respond to any emergency, including non-COVID-19 related emergencies.

“Heart and vascular disease doesn’t care about COVID-19, and people are still going to have heart attacks and still going to have strokes,” said Mokadam.

He reminds people that heart and vascular disease is still the number one killer in the world.

People should remember the symptoms for those diseases just as you remember those of the coronavirus.

“If you’re having chest pain, if you’re having chest pressure, if you’re having jaw pain, left arm pain, weakness in one of your arms, or slurring your speech, these are all signs of a heart attack or stroke,” said Mokadam.

He added knowing those symptoms will be the difference between life and death.

Mokadam said while hospitals have stopped elective surgeries, they are still open to help and even preform other important surgeries.

“Just because we’re in the midst of a COVID pandemic, it doesn’t mean that other diseases aren’t serious, have not gotten worse, don’t emerge,” said Mokadam. “Emergencies happen. Hospitals are capable of taking care of your emergency, taking care of your new symptoms.”

If you are experiencing a non-life threatening illness, call your personal care physician.

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