Doctor urges public not to delay seeking emergency treatment during COVID-19 pandemic

With COVID-19 and social distancing now a major part of our lives, health professionals are increasingly concerned that people are failing to seek urgent treatment for fear of catching the virus.

The number of people attending Welsh emergency departments has fallen by up to 50 per cent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Ash Basu, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “Since the start of the pandemic we have seen a significant drop in patients presenting with genuine emergencies such as chest pains that could be symptoms of a heart attack, diabetic emergencies and strokes.

“This is concerning for us who work in the Emergency Departments, anyone who delays seeking treatment is putting their long-term health at risk, so we want to highlight to the public we are still open for emergencies.

“We would like to reassure our communities that all patients who present at the Emergency Department are appropriately screened and we have designated areas for patients with non-COVID related issues.

“I would like to stress to anyone who feels they need emergency treatment to come to the Emergency Department or alternatively if your illness is not an emergency you can visit your GP or Pharmacist, as well as your nearest Minor Injury Unit.”

There are a number of Minor Injury Units open across North Wales that are able to provide treatment for minor injuries and illnesses.

Minor Injury Units can treat:

  • Bites or stings (insect, animal and human bites)
  • Minor burns or scalds
  • Emergency contraception outside pharmacy hours
  • Minor eye injuries
  • Minor injuries such as sprains and strains
  • Minor head injuries (children and adults)
  • Nasal injuries
  • Minor back/neck injuries

You can find further advice to help direct you to the right service for your injury or illness by visiting here: https://bcuhb.nhs.wales/health-services/health-services1/where-do-i-go/