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STATE WIDE–Every minute you delay in getting treatment for a stroke lessens the chances of successful treatment. That’s why doctors are concerned that people are not calling 911 for stroke symptoms, because they’re afraid of getting coronavirus at the hospital.

“We have had some cases where calling 911 has been delayed,” said IU Health vascular neurologist Dr. Jason Mackey. “I think it is because people have been afraid of coming to the hospital.”

Mackey said that doctors at IU are seeing lower numbers of people with strokes and stroke symptoms, and that is reflected across the country.

“We’re worried about it. We don’t know why we’re seeing lower numbers of patients with time-sensitive diagnoses like stroke or heart attack,” he said. “Our concern is that people are worried about coming to the hospital in a situation like this.”

While Mackey did not say that concerns about getting coronavirus at a hospital are unfounded, he did say that hospitals are working non-stop to be clean.

“There has been a lot of work on behalf of hospital systems here and elsewhere, to create an environment in which we’re able to take care of everybody who needs help.”