Don't Delay Necessary Medical Care, Even During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Even at the height of the pandemic here, doctors were still telling people not to ignore signs of other potential problems. In some cases, the consequences of delaying care could be fatal.

A 79-year-old woman in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania is thankful she took that advice.

Patricia Monk is feeling like herself again. But three months ago, she was unsteady and she fell at home.

A CT scan at her local hospital revealed a large cyst in her brain. She was referred to Doctor James Evans, a neurosurgeon at Jefferson Health.

"We met her by telemedicine," he said, not even in person.

A virtual appointment during a scary time... much of the area was shut down due to the pandemic and protests and riots consumed the city. But the cyst was blocking essential spinal fluid.

"She was right on the verge of a complete obstruction, when that happens patients can suddenly die, it's called sudden death syndrome," Dr. Evans said.

"So I said put it that way, you've got no choice, you gotta go," Patricia said.

Within an hour, Patricia was checked into Jefferson Hospital, her daughter not allowed inside.

"So that was hard, we had a tearful goodbye in the lobby, sending my mom off to have brain surgery was somewhat alarming," her daughter Kathryn Craig said.

Surgery was a success ...

Patricia is grateful she didn't put off treatment.

"I've got too much to live for," she said.

And Doctor Evans and other healthcare providers hope everyone knows even if we see another surge in Covid-19 cases, hospitals are prepared to see other patients safely. You should not delay care if you have any concerning symptoms, if you're routinely checked for a chronic problem or if you're due for a cancer screening.
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