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  • Katie Taylor/Olivia H.

Doctors Worry People With Brain Aneurysm and Stroke Symptoms Avoiding Emerg. Rooms During COVID-19

Updated: May 11, 2020

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. (May 1, 2020) As the coronavirus pandemic continues, emergency rooms are seeing fewer people show up with life-threatening emergencies, including stroke and brain aneurysm, because they fear catching COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and funding research for the treatment of brain aneurysm, stroke and other cerebrovascular conditions, is pushing to get the message out that avoiding the hospital when experiencing signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm or stroke could be fatal.

“Unfortunately, people are staying home because they fear contracting the coronavirus in hospitals,” said Ajay K. Wakhloo, M.D., Ph.D., an interventional neuroradiologist at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Mass. and a Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation board member. “Based upon average numbers of what we typically see, we are sure there are people experiencing headaches and other symptoms that require immediate medical attention.”

Signs and symptoms of a cerebrovascular condition such as a brain aneurysm or stroke that should not be ignored include: sudden extreme headache, dilated pupils, blurred or double vision, pain above or behind the eye, weakness and numbness, difficulty speaking, nausea and vomiting.

Ricardo Hanel, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon and director at the Baptist Health Neurological Institute in Jacksonville, Fla., said they have seen a decline in the number of people coming in with symptoms of small strokes. “It is so important not to downplay these symptoms as they are often a warning of a bigger medical emergency,” said Hanel. “As we do here at Baptist Health, hospitals across the country are screening people at the door and if they are suspected of having COVID-19 they are separated from the rest of the patient population. Hospitals have procedures in place to ensure patients in coronavirus intensive care units are not in the same units as those suffering from neurological or other medical emergencies.”

The Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation says that if someone is showing signs of a brain aneurysm or stroke, act fast and call 911. Getting to the emergency room right away is critical and every second counts. Hospitals are taking extreme precautions to avoid coronavirus transmission and most physicians now offer virtual visits through the use of smartphones, tablets and computers for medical issues that do not require an in-office visit.

About the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation

The Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation, founded in 2016, is a nonprofit organization located in Fernandina Beach, Fla. dedicated to raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of brain aneurysms. The organization provides support and funding for training and neurological research for brain aneurysm, strokes and other cerebrovascular conditions with the goal of advancing treatment options and reducing the time between treatment and signs/symptoms to ensure better outcomes. To learn more about brain aneurysm, the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation and to donate, visit A portion of all gifts will be matched by the Baptist Health Foundation in Jacksonville, Fla.

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