By Helen Ford, Health Correspondent
People suffering from life threatening health issues are being urged not to delay treatment because of concerns over coronavirus. The NHS says that across the North East, fewer patients are attending emergency departments with heart attacks and strokes. In fact, A and E units are described as being at their quietest in recent memory.
The NHS believes the reasons are twofold: firstly, people may be concerned about picking up coronavirus, and second, they want to avoid putting pressure on the system.
Professor Chris Gray from NHS England says that while the NHS is asking communities to use services sensibly, it is vital that those with urgent conditions are seen promptly.
The type of symptoms regarded as emergencies include:
- - chest pain- difficulty breathing
- - unconsciousness
- - severe burns
- - severe loss of blood
The NHS says reluctance to attend A and E because of coronavirus doesn't stop with adult patients. There is also concern that parents are unwilling to take their children to hospital during the outbreak.
Prof Chris Gray says hospitals are set up to ensure that people arriving at ED will be seen away from coronavirus areas, with infection control measures in place.
Watch Helen Ford's full report below: