Dr. Huidy Shu from Hawaii Pacific Health joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation to talk about the relationship between COVID-19 and strokes.
Shu said that Pali Momi Medical Center has seen a 30% decrease in patients coming in to seek healthcare services for strokes. Many patients are not seeking care when they should because of the increased health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Shu shared that strokes can leave people disabled for a lifetime and encouraged patients with stroke symptoms to get care immediately. He explained that there are effective treatments available, but that they must be administered at the onset of symptoms, within 24 hours.
According to Shu, COVID-19 has affected the stroke and heart disease populations in several ways. Individuals with a severe case of COVID-19 have a higher risk of developing blood clots. These blood clots can cause a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism, depending on where the blood clot develops. Physicians are also seeing an indirect effect with regards to stroke patients who are not seeking care at the onset of symptoms for fear of being infected by the coronavirus.
Shu stressed that hospitals and doctor’s offices are remaining vigilant and doing everything possible to ensure the safety of patients. He said that, “telehealth has revolutionized healthcare as we know it.” He currently sees 90% of his patients through telemedicine and that Hawaii Pacific Health has received positive feedback from its patients because they don’t have to drive to their appointment, find parking, or wait in a waiting room. Patients can get the care they need in minutes from their own living room.
Since May is National Stroke Awareness Month, Shu shared an easy to remember acronym, BE FAST, to identify stroke symptoms and remind individuals to act quickly. B for balance problems or sudden dizziness, E for eyes referring to a sudden loss of vision, F for facial droop, A for arm weakness, S for speech impairment, and T for Time. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, call 911.
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The COVID-19 Care Conversation is live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji will discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.
Watch here and submit your questions through our Facebook page.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.