Many people are staying away from the doctor's office because of their fear of contracting COVID-19. But some of them are becoming ill because other medical conditions are going untreated.
A few weeks ago, 53-year-old Stacy Simpson went to the hospital after her blood pressure shot up. "They came and put me into the COVID area, so here I am having this major heart issue where I don't know what's going on...and now realizing I've been put in the quarantine area of the hospital," Simpson told Inside Edition.
She now refuses to go back — and the fear of hospitals and doctors offices is leading to a ripple effect across the country as people in need of urgent medical care avoid emergency rooms. The medical community is urging people to seek medical attention if they need to, even during the pandemic.
"There are people putting their lives at risk because they are scared of COVID-19," said Dr. Oz. "They should be more scared about the heart attack they're about to have or the stroke they're about to have that could be prevented if we get to you in time."
Some symptoms that require immediate medical attention are shortness of breath, severe chest pains or symptoms of a stroke, such as garbled speech.
Others are avoiding routine visits for mammograms and pap smears for cervical cancer screenings.