From Lourdes Memorial Hospital:
For people experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, mental health or other acute
illness or injury, our area hospital emergency rooms are still the safest, most appropriate place
to get care.
Even though hospitals are caring for patients with COVID-19, clinicians want to reassure the
public that individuals who need emergency care should not delay treatment. An emergency is
still an emergency. UHS and Ascension Lourdes hospitals and emergency rooms are well
prepared to safely care for people with symptoms of heart attack, stroke and other serious
“We are seeing a concerning drop in the number of people coming in for serious
non-COVID-related issues,” said Dr. Matthew Krauthamer, Ascension Lourdes Emergency
Department Medical Director. “Staying home, ignoring the symptoms and suffering out of fear
of COVID-19 is a risk people shouldn’t take with their health.”
“Timely treatment for serious conditions is critically important for achieving the best outcomes
and lessening the risk of complications,” added Dr. Steven Gomez, Director of Emergency
Services at UHS. “We are prepared and set up to safely treat patients who require emergency
care. No patient should delay their care in an emergency.”
UHS and Ascension Lourdes are equipped to safely protect patients from potential exposure to
COVID-19 while taking care of their chest pain, stroke symptoms, traumatic injuries, emotional
and mental health and any other acute medical or surgical needs. Separate intake and care
areas, waiting room distancing, staff screening, ongoing use of personal protective equipment, as well as extensive safety and sanitization protocols, are in place to ensure all patients are
cared for in a protected environment.
Symptoms like pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or
arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back; shortness of breath; or nausea or
lightheadedness may be signs of a heart attack. The types of symptoms that required
emergency care in the past still require emergency care now.
UHS and Ascension Lourdes providers also encourage individuals who have pre-existing
conditions to continue their routine care to stay healthy. Call your primary care provider or
specialist first to discuss whether an online visit is an option for your care. If you can’t talk to
your regular doctor, or if you need care more quickly, you can talk to a doctor 24/7 through
virtual care offered by both healthcare organizations.
If someone is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, difficulty breathing, or warning signs
of a heart attack or stroke, they should not delay, but go directly to the emergency room or