Coronavirus – No Need to Be Afraid of Seeing a Doctor
We have probably never been more aware and concerned about our own health than we are right now. Despite this, many people are afraid to visit their doctor due to the pandemic, the number of visits to medical practices has plummeted over the last few months. Doctors and medics are working together with specialist staff to protect their patients and themselves from infection as far as possible. It goes without saying that this applies to medics of all specialisms. We took a behind-the-scenes look at the workplaces of three doctors. How does an ophthalmologist carry on in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, despite getting so close to patients’ faces? How do radiologists organize visits to the practice? What additional precautions are oncologists taking?
“Safety measures remain our top priority at work”
Our eyes guide us and lead us through life. Losing your vision is a harrowing prospect. While most routine checks can be postponed in the pandemic without any problems, the eyesight of patients suffering from acute complaints or chronic macular diseases can worsen if they do not seek timely and, where necessary, regular treatment.
“A disease does not wait to be discovered”
An early diagnosis can have a great impact on the treatment and thus the further course of the disease. Radiologists use imaging techniques such as CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to detect diseases at an early stage - often before symptoms occur - and monitor the success of therapy. If patients cancel their appointments with radiologists for fear of infection, this increases the risk that, for example, cancer or heart disease will progress undetected and necessary treatments will be delayed.
“Cancer can pose a far greater threat to patient life than COVID-19”
Radiologists and oncologists work hand in hand, as every treatment starts with the correct diagnosis. A delay in the diagnosis can therefore have a decisive influence on the success of the therapy. But not only early detection is important for cancer patients, but also regular treatment follow-up - also in times of Corona. But many patients are afraid because they belong to the risk group due to their illness - operations, chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, all these treatments can weaken the immune system. Many clinics and infusion centers have therefore reacted to the pandemic and introduced changes that allow personal visits or treatments in a safe setting on site.
Fighting the Virus Together
The fight against COVID-19 cannot be won single-handedly. Medical specialists working in practices and clinics are reliant on the support of every single patient to come through this challenging time. Trust in medical work and cooperation during appointments are crucial to ruling out the possibility of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Every single one of us has a role to play. Patients should comply with the measures in place at medical practices and prepare for their appointment. This crisis has reinforced the lesson that health is the most valuable thing any of us own. That is why we must not push other complaints and illnesses to the back of our minds.