Dothan doctor warns against ignoring health issues amid the global pandemic

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — COVID-19 has been an ongoing issue for almost 100 days, but Dr.’s are warning chronic illnesses and ailments could be causing you complications if not treated.

“In general, we’ve seen some patients just really scared and therefore not coming for their regular follow-ups,” said Dr. Russell Besole of Flowers Hospital.

During this time, patients of all ages have been putting regular checkups on the back burner. Doctors believe patients are worried about contracting the virus.

“You have to have a healthy respect for the virus, of course, that’s number one, but at the same time, we are trying to emphasize that you can’t ignore everything else because I’m worried now, especially with the adult populations where these chronic conditions, diabetes, COPD, hypertension, if patients miss appointments, miss medications, etc., then we are going to be in trouble, not just from the coronavirus but from all of these other issues that will come to the floor, ” Bedsole said.

Bedsole has seen a drop in cardiac catheterization which could lead to heart attacks in patients putting these procedures and routine visits aside.

“March and April were really not a lot of what I call routine visits, but we did see a lot of patients who rescheduled, missed appointments, didn’t want to come in,” he said. “I actually had one this morning still who has an acute issue but doesn’t want to come in.”

The state’s COVID-19 numbers are up for the second week in a row, setting records over the weekend.

“This is not the second wave or whatever; this is still the first wave, but what’s happening in Alabama is we are seeing a surge in cases that other states,” Bedsole said. “Some states have seen but not all, but some states have already been through this.”

If you are dealing with an illness but aren’t sure about visiting the doctor’s office, reach out to your provider, and if you have a scheduled doctor’s appointment, don’t be fearful of going. You don’t want something that’s not serious to turn into something serious.

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