We’ve seen a rise in preventable deaths in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic, largely because people are too afraid to go to the doctor. So we want to change that this week with the help of cardiologists Marc Eisenberg and Chris Kelly, who tell us all about the ease of booking a televisit, how to prepare for one, and what symptoms merit a visit to the doctor. Marc and Chris are the authors of the book, Am I Dying?!: A Complete Guide to Your Symptoms — and What to Do Next and also run the very helpful website amidying.com.
Highlights from this week’s episode
From the Marc and Chris Interview
On the unexpected benefit of televisits:
[D]octors have been talking on social media all about what this experience has been like for them. And one person commented on how they had this patient with longstanding lung disease that they couldn’t figure out. And when they finally did a televisit at the patient’s home, they saw parrot squawking in the background. A parrot is a known cause of chronic lung disease, so mystery solved right there.
On when you should consider reaching out to a doctor:
[A]ny new symptom that you have is always something to worry about, particularly if the new symptom is something to do with like chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, blacking out, palpitations, abdominal pain, maybe even changes in bowel habits. So clearly, those are the things you want to watch out for new symptoms or worsening of symptoms that you’ve had for a little bit that’s starting to get a little worse also. But, yeah, I mean, the things you worry the most about is anything that could pertain to the heart, you know, the heart, the head, blurred vision, rapid weight loss. I mean, stuff like that, that actually can be markers of stuff like diabetes and other serious concerns.
On what you should do rather than getting tested if you’re worried about potential Covid symptoms:
[I]f you have Covid, you actually should do a pulse [oximeter] because that’s when you really know when you should seek medical attention. Because a lot of times you might not even know your oxygen level is low and you should be seeking medical care…[infected people] did actually go to the emergency room and their oxygen level would already be at like 80 per cent, but they felt fine because their body was compensating. So clearly when the oxygen level goes below 90 per cent…[people should] seek help.
To hear more of Marc and Chris’ valuable medical advice, listen to the full episode!
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