Ohio recently surpassed 100,000 hospitalizations due to COVID-19. The situation is so critical that President Biden sent medical teams to help Ohio hospitals deal with the surge. While there is hope that the current COVID numbers will decrease as the healthcare system handles infections from holiday get-togethers, the impacts extend to non-COVID patients, including those who sustained personal injuries.
If you sustain a personal injury due to another individual’s negligence, you may face the following issues when seeking emergency room treatment:
- Longer waits: Overburdened emergency rooms and intensive care units challenge hospital resources. Unless you face a life-threatening injury, you will likely wait longer than usual for emergency treatment. Even if you are in pain, triage will not work in your favor. Some people choose to wait, but others may write off the emergency room and go straight to at-home treatment.
- COVID exposure: According to the Ohio Hospital Association, one in three people are admitted to the ICU, and one in three hospital patients have COVID-19. The current Omicron variant infects vaccinated people, although it produces milder symptoms for them. You will likely encounter infected people in the waiting room and risk exposure even after the hospital admits you. But if you do not have paid sick time, the COVID exposure risk may not be worth emergency care.
- Treatment delays: It is common for overburdened hospitals to delay non-essential surgeries. Surgical solutions are less obtainable, and even if you secure a date, the possibility of cancellation remains as long as COVID stresses the healthcare system. Your treatment provider may require you to withstand conservative treatment options, like pain control and physical therapy, even if you face severe pain.
- Treatment reluctance: People read the news and know what is going on. Longer waits, higher infection risk, and delayed treatments make some individuals decide that an emergency room visit is not worth the effort. A study from early pandemic times showed emergency room visits decline between 42 and 64 percent. Better remote options contribute to those numbers, but the study’s authors also confirm COVD situations make people less likely to seek emergency treatment.
Securing a fair personal injury settlement depends on you receiving an early injury diagnosis and seeking treatment. When emergency rooms cannot accommodate accident victims, many people wait to see their primary care provider or avoid emergency treatment entirely. Failing to seek immediate diagnosis and treatment worsens your symptoms and may compromise your personal injury case.
Talk to an Ohio personal injury lawyer today
Please make sure that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible, when you’re injured—it could have a negative impact on your case if you don’t. Questions? I can help. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.483.2298 for a consultation, and we’ll discuss your claim.