Why You Should Keep Doctor Appointments during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic makes staying physically and mentally healthy more difficult. COVID-19 only adds to overall stress and anxiety. There’s second-guessing daily choices and longer-term decisions often feel more complicated.
But there is one important step you should take to get through the pandemic as healthy as possible. Keep your regular doctor appointments, including your Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood. (Peripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.) and wound care checkups.
Physicians are taking extra precautions
There are many ways that doctors are keeping appointments as safe as possible:
- Taking the temperature of every staff member and visitor
- Screening the staff for COVID-19
- Decreasing wait times
- Ensuring all staff members and visitors wear masks
- Offering telehealth appointments
While many people are nervous coming in for their first appointment, Dr. Thomas Davis, an interventionalist cardiologist for Detroit’s St. John’s Hospital, says that they feel comfortable once they’re there.
“It’s so important to keep getting basic foot care and seeing your doctors,” says Dr. Davis. “To surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe) is a real threat. It’s a bigger threat than COVID-19 when patients don’t keep their PAD and wound appointments and the disease progresses.”
What can happen if you skip doctor appointments
“Without treatment, small wounds can become Gangrene is dead tissue, caused by poor blood flow to part of your body. Gangrene can occur on the skin or in muscles or organs. Peripheral artery disease is a known cause of gangrene.. Gangrene can lead to partial amputation,” says Dr. Davis. “Even after a wound heals, I encourage patients to keep seeing their podiatrists and primary care physicians because calluses and pressure points can turn into wounds.”
For more information
Learn other ways to avoid amputation on our Take a Stand Against Amputation® website. If you need help finding a doctor or getting a second opinion, use CSI’s Find a Doctor tool to help explore the variety of PAD treatment options available.