Houston officials worry COVID-19 fears are driving down necessary hospitalizations

EMS calls for suspected heart attacks are down nearly 50% since the coronavirus outbreak began in Houston. (Courtesy Houston Public Health)
EMS calls for suspected heart attacks are down nearly 50% since the coronavirus outbreak began in Houston. (Courtesy Houston Public Health)

EMS calls for suspected heart attacks are down nearly 50% since the coronavirus outbreak began in Houston. (Courtesy Houston Public Health)

Between February 2020 and April 2020 EMS calls for suspected heart attacks in Houston were down 50% according to data from Houston Public Health.

"The waiting rooms are not crowded,” Houston Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. David Persse told reporters June 1. “If you’re having a heart attack ... you don't need to be afraid of catching the coronavirus at the hospital. Hospitals are safe to go to.”

In February, the Houston Fire Department saw 37 heart attacked-related EMS calls and by April that number had dropped to 20.

The drop represents a worrying trend that other health authorities have seen across the country during the coronavirus outbreak, Persse said.

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said he encourages residents to continue to call for help when needed.


“If you need 9-1-1, we encourage you to call 9-1-1,” he said. “We are taking every precaution to ensure your safety and ensure the safety of our firefighters.”

Some of the most common health emergencies are heart attacks and strokes, Persse said. Both are not always fatal but need to be addressed quickly.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

R2, an autonomous delivery vehicle by Nuro, is delivering Domino's pizza to select customers in the Heights area starting April 12. (Courtesy Domino's)
Domino's, Nuro testing robot pizza delivery in the Heights

The robots are coming, and they are bringing pizza.

"Breaking Strongholds" is a faith-based, eight-episode series that explores topics such as suicide and depression. (Courtesy Terry Weaver)
Series shot in Montgomery County aiming for Hulu, Netflix deal and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

A representative for real estate brokerage Happen Houston said White Oak Station will offer designs and finishes similar to those from its Heights-area Park at Northwood development. (Courtesy City Choice Homes)
Townhome development proposed near Washington Avenue

The project is seeking a subdivision replat for up to 87 homesites.

The Montrose-area Woodrow Wilson Montessori, which opened in the 1920s, will now be a namesake of civil rights advocate Ella J. Baker.  (Courtesy Houston ISD)
Houston ISD renames Montrose-area school to honor civil rights leader Ella J. Baker

A century after Woodrow Wilson's presidency ended, his name will be removed from this Houston ISD school.

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits will end April 14. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
DMV officials say no grace period following waiver of car title, registration; new housing set for Magnolia, Cypress

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

Plant It Forward’s urban farms offer jobs, training and housing to refugees. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit Plant it Forward recovering from freeze as it marks 10 years

The nonprofit's urban farms lost about 75% of their crops in the freeze.

Houston ISD has approved its 2021-2022 school year calendar. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston ISD trustees approve 2021-2022 calendar

The extra days are in place to help some students catch up because of the COVID-19 learning slide.

A neighborhoodwide garage sale will take place April 10 in the Rice Military area. (Courtesy Rice Military Civic Club)
Rice Military hosts 40-house garage sale

Looking for a garage sale? How about 40?

Miller Outdoor Theatre is kicking off its 98th season May 1. (Courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre)
In-person performances will return to Miller Outdoor Theatre on May 1

To provide an extra measure of safety and to improve the ticketing process, theatergoers will be able to secure tickets in advance online.

Heritage Senior Residences is the first in the Washington Avenue and Rice Military area to receive the state's low-income housing tax credit in 30 years, city documents state. (Courtesy Heritage Senior Residences)
Rice Military-area senior housing project gets backing of city's Harvey grant program

It is the first affordable housing project for the area in decades.

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Layne's Chicken Fingers coming to Katy; Gyro King opens in Sugar Land and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.