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DHHS says sick people are avoiding emergency rooms

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The state Department of Health and Human Services is urging people with symptoms of heart attacks or other health emergencies to seek help. That’s because it appears people are avoiding hospitals and emergency rooms during the COVID-19 crisis.

Lynn Sutfin  is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She says the state compared health emergency data between mid-March and mid-May of last year to this year.

She says between then and now, out-of-hospital cardiac arrests were up by 43 percent, while ambulance transports were down by 17 percent.

“So we know that people were not calling 911, were not taking an ambulance to the hospital.”

       Sutfin says hospitals in other states are reporting similar experiences.

       She says hospitals are better equipped now with face shields and other protective equipment to reduce the risk of infection to health care workers and patients.