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More and more patients are skipping cancer screening, diabetes testing and other regular visits.

(Rick Eagan | Salt Lake Tribune) Dr. Russell Binick, Chief Medical Operations Officer, The University of Utah Hospital, will speak at a press conference on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Utah doctors are sending messages to patients. Do not be afraid of COVID-19 and interfere with regular medical visits.

“COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, but we need to learn to live with and take care of ourselves during this period,” said Dr. Russell Vinick, Chief Medical Operations Officer. I will. University of Utah Health..

In a telephone meeting with the media on Tuesday, Binick and other officials at the University of Utah said they would see regular doctors for fear of getting COVID-19 in Utah for fear of entering clinics and hospitals. He said he was following the unfortunate national tendency to avoid screening.

According to Sandi Gulbransen, Chief Quality Officer at U. Health, the percentage of US regulars tested for hemoglobin A1C, the leading test for diabetes, dropped from 93% in December 2019 before the pandemic to 85%. Did. December 2020. Similarly, the proportion of people tested for breast cancer dropped from a peak of over 70% in February to just under 66% in December, she said.

Vinick also cited national trends that showed a decrease in the number of colonoscopies, mammograms, and childhood vaccinations at various times last year during the pandemic.

“I don’t want to be treating a community with a progressive disease that could have been treated early if I had preventive care,” Binick said.

In the early days of the pandemic, patients were asked to postpone “unnecessary” medical care because hospitals were overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients and lacked medication.

“We strongly encourage patients to see them directly as much as possible,” says Vinik. “We have the ability. Come get the care you need. Don’t delay the care you need.”

Dr. Kirk Knowlton, Inter Mountain Heart InstituteAdvised Utahns at a Facebook live event on Tuesday to be aware of heart health during a pandemic.

“Many people are still afraid to get treatment when they need it because they are worried that they will get COVID when they enter the hospital,” says Knowlton.

“There is a very high risk of complications associated with COVID infection, such as having to use a machine for ventilation or even death,” said Knowlton.

Conversely, he said that some COVID-19 patients (some studies show a number of about 20%) suffer from some degree of heart damage due to the virus.

Binnick emphasized that in the year since the pandemic arrived in the United States, healthcare professionals learned a lot about COVID-19, especially how to keep hospitals and clinics safe.

At least 80% of clinical staff University of Utah Hospital, Binick said he received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hospitals have established cleaning protocols and regulated airflow, and all patients, staff and visitors are required to wear masks.

Knowlton said all hospitals have a similar policy. “Hospitals are very well prepared to ensure that people are safe from COVID exposure,” Knowlton said.

Knowlton and University of Utah doctors emphasized the need to follow public health measures such as wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, and staying home in case of illness.

Knowlton also advised Utahns to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible. “Vaccines are a really great tool and probably the best tool to prevent COVID-related heart disease,” he said.

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