Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from seeking emergency care

Many of our community members are feeling overwhelmed and fearful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have found that these feelings may be leading many people to not seek the health care that they need or they are greatly delaying going to the hospital for signs and symptoms of a stroke. We believe this is because people are worried about potential exposure to COVID-19 and may not want to overburden a hospital system and staff.

This is not just a local issue. Nationally, many stroke centers have seen a reduction in patients seeking care for stroke symptoms. In some cases, these centers have seen reductions up to 50%. In addition, people are waiting several hours, or even days, before going to the hospital, which has had a detrimental effect on their outcome.

Time is BRAIN. Stroke is an emergency! For every minute a person waits to seek care for a stroke, approximately 1.9 million neurons are lost and results in accelerated aging rate of 3.1 weeks. For every hour, that means 120 million neurons are lost and the accelerated aging rate equals 3.6 years!

Our advice for people experiencing stroke-like symptoms, recognize the warning signs of stroke and call 911 immediately. Rest assured that UofL Health is taking additional precautions in keeping you safe at our facilities. Our comprehensive stroke program team remains ready to help you.

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About Kerri Remmel, M.D., Ph.D.

Kerri S. Remmel, M.D., Ph.D. is the chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville and leads the UofL Health – Comprehensive Stroke Program as well as UofL Physicians – Neurology. She completed her doctorate degree at Louisiana State University and graduated from medical school from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. As an expert in and advocate for stroke care, Dr. Remmel has not only been identified as a “Top Doc” numerous times, she has been awarded numerous excellence in teaching awards and has been honored by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as their Volunteer of the Year and by the Kentucky and Southern Indiana National Stroke Association as their Honoree of the Year.

All posts by Kerri Remmel, M.D., Ph.D.