Skip to main content

KMBC: Fear of virus causing some to delay seeking medical help

May 28, 2020

At Saint Luke's Hospital, neurologists have patients who waited days to get help, even when having symptoms of a stroke. Dr. Karin Olds, neurologist and stroke medical director at Saint Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute how it is safe and why it is important to seeking emergency medical treatment, even during COVID-19.


"Billions of brain cells die for every several minutes the brain is without oxygen," Olds said. "There's only a certain window of time where we have a chance of reversing that stroke, either with clot-busting meds or an interventionalist pulling a clot out of the vessel being blocked."

Olds said COVID-19 precautions should be taken seriously, but not at the expense of life-saving treatment.

"You have to trust the medical professionals to protect you from COVID-19. I think we're doing a good job of that. I feel like I'm more likely to contract COVID-19 at the grocery store than I am at the hospital," Olds said.

Know the signs of a stroke and don't delay medical treatment, so BE FAST:

  • B - balance, sudden loss of coordination
  • E - eyesight, flashes or sudden loss of vision
  • F - face, look for the droop on one side
  • A - arms, hold both out - does one drift down?
  • S - speech, slurring or speaking incoherently
  • T - time to call 9-1-1

Related Content

FOX4: Doctors warn of link between COVID-19 and strokes
Strokes are on the rise for the younger population. Hear why it's important to seek life-saving treatment, even during a pandemic.
Saint Luke’s News: Doctors seeing more patients with high blood pressure amid coronavirus pandemic
Nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure, but as the coronavirus pandemic adds stress to everyday life, doctors are noticing even higher numbers across the board. Dr. Tracy Stevens explains what you can do to lower your blood pressure.
Don, a patient at Saint Luke's, connects with his daughter, Deb, on an iPad since she can't visit him in the hospital due to COVID-19.
Saint Luke’s Friends and Family Program makes it easy for patients and loved ones to connect amid COVID-19
Saint Luke’s Friends and Family Program has deployed 102 devices throughout the health system allowing patients to make connections they wouldn’t have been able to make otherwise.