Avoiding Cardiac Care Can Have Lasting Consequences


If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or high blood pressure, you probably know the importance of monitoring your heart health . However, you may also be weighing whether the risk of coming to the doctor’s office or the hospital is worth it during this national pandemic. The answer is—don’t delay necessary heart care.

Stephen Schutzman, MD, Cardiologist with St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute, says, “I am very concerned that people aren’t getting necessary heart care because they have anxiety about coming to the hospital or doctor’s office. People could be dying of very treatable heart conditions.”

When to seek care for your heart

“My biggest concern is patients will have long-term effects because they waited too long to seek care. They could avoid a heart attack or avoid more heart damage if they got to the hospital to be treated,” says Dr. Schutzman.

Keep all of your appointments with your doctors and cardiologist. If you have symptoms, seek medical care immediately. Symptoms of a heart event vary and are often different from person to person. Do not try to diagnose yourself—call your doctor or call 911.

Symptoms of a heart event include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
  • Jaw or throat pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain that spreads down your arm
  • Swollen legs, feet and ankles

Making your care safe

St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Heart and Vascular Institute is safe and prepared. The team is taking every measure to ensure you are safe when you come to St. Elizabeth for care.

“Sanitation and social distancing are a top priority,” says Dr. Schutzman. “We have enough protective equipment for our staff, we are isolating patients with COVID, and we are testing patients prior to procedures.”

If you have questions about St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s safety measures, visitstelizabeth.com/openandsafe.

For more information

If you have concerns about your heart, don’t delay seeking care. St. Elizabeth now offers next-day cardiology appointments for patients who need them. To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, call (859) 287-3045.