Don’t Delay Seeking Care for Your Medical Emergency

April 10, 2020

DETROIT – Since the beginning of Michigan’s COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March, Henry Ford Health System emergency departments have seen a significant decrease in the number of patients seeking care for medical emergencies such as heart attack, stroke and trauma.

Across all nine Henry Ford emergency departments, volumes are down for patients seeking care for potentially life-threatening emergencies.

Normally, hundreds of patients are seen daily at Henry Ford emergency departments in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and in Jackson, Michigan.

Emergency departments nationally today sometimes care for up to 50 percent fewer patients then they were seeing before the COVID-19 outbreak. In March at Henry Ford emergency departments, volumes were down 19 percent for non-covid patient emergencies compared to the same period last year.

Doctors are concerned about patients they are no longer seeing -- people with chest or abdominal pain, slurred speech, dizziness, and other problems that don’t go away. They worry that some people are delaying necessary care which might place them at risk for serious long-term health problems.

“What happens is they hold off and hold off, while getting sicker, then it becomes a much graver condition when they do show up at an ER,” explains Henry Ford emergency medicine physician Sam Mossallam, M.D.

“I’m hoping they are getting care somewhere, maybe through telehealth. But it’s important for people to know that if they are sick, the emergency department is open for business to take good care of them and while also keeping them safe.”

That sentiment is echoed by Jennifer Eslinger, president of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

“We have taken extreme measures to protect patients that may be fearful at this time of receiving emergency room care. We have set up basically two ERs at both our Wyandotte Hospital and the Brownstown emergency rooms to ensure a non-covid patient would not contract coronavirus and that we could treat them for any of their medical needs,” she says.

“We’ve done a lot around airflow and traffic flow, even how we transport patients. We really mapped this out step by step. We never expected a pandemic, but we’ve practiced and trained for this and we’re ready to serve all of our community.”

For a complete list of Henry Ford Emergency Department locations visit or download the free Henry Ford Get Care App for navigation to the nearest emergency department. Available for Android or iPhone Download the app from the App store or Google Play.


MEDIA CONTACT: Synthia Bryant / 313.874.4036