Heart attack or stroke symptoms? Call 911 immediately.

COLUMBIA, Md.—Howard County General Hospital urged county residents experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms to call 911 to get to the hospital immediately. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Howard County General Hospital remains prepared to provide safe and timely care, which can be critical for patients experiencing heart-related events.

“We’ve seen a drop in hospital visits for heart attack and stroke symptoms, which we fear means patients may be avoiding clinical care out of concern that hospitals are unsafe and overwhelmed with COVID-19,” said cardiologist Dr. Michael E. Silverman, chair of medicine at Howard County General Hospital. “Delaying care for heart attacks and strokes puts patients at serious risk, so we urge them to pay attention to symptoms and call 911 to get to the hospital for help.”

Heart attack symptoms can include chest pain, difficulty breathing and discomfort in the chest, arms, back, neck, shoulder or jaw, while stroke symptoms can include numbness, weakness or loss of movement in the face, leg or arm—especially on one side—as well as confusion, trouble speaking or understanding and loss of balance, according to the American College of Cardiology.

“Heart attack and stroke symptoms are serious and require immediate attention, and we’re prepared at Howard County General Hospital to treat heart attacks and strokes safely while addressing the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Eric Aldrich, medical director of Howard County General Hospital’s Stroke Center. “If you experience symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, don’t wait. Call 911 for emergency care.”

Howard County General Hospital’s Stroke Center is designated by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems as a primary stroke center in Maryland. Howard County General Hospital has also received the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Howard County General Hospital posted more information and videos about heart attack symptoms and stroke symptoms on the hospital’s website.

About Howard County General Hospital

Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine is a not-for-profit health care provider with 225 licensed beds located in Columbia, Maryland. A comprehensive, acute-care medical center, Howard County General offers a full range of services, from neonatal care and oncology to outpatient treatment and critical care.

The hospital has a professional staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health professionals, representing more than 100 specialties and subspecialties; a workforce of more than 1,800 individuals and over 370 volunteers.

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Scott E