It is important for heart valve disease patients to prioritize their heart health during the pandemic. If you, or your loved one, are experiencing new or worsening symptoms of heart valve disease, don’t delay seeking care - #JustGo to the hospital or emergency department. Symptoms of heart valve disease may include shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, dizziness, fainting, or unusual fatigue.
One of the unintended consequences of the pandemic message to ‘Stay at Home’ is that many patients avoid visiting a doctor or going to the hospital, largely out of fear of contracting COVID-19. In recent months, many people with heart emergencies have delayed seeking medical attention, which has resulted in worse outcomes ranging from unnecessary loss of life to people being left with disability, chronic heart conditions, or poorer quality of life. Heart valve disease is a common, serious, but treatable condition and seeking timely care could save your life. Patients and families should be assured that Canadian hospitals and emergency rooms have robust COVID-19 protocols for your protection.
If you are living with heart valve disease, use our Symptom Tracker to help you monitor your symptoms and track occurrences, frequency, intensity, and to help you identify new or worsening symptoms. This information is also very useful for helping your care team understand more about your condition and what course of action to take.
Whether you are newly diagnosed or are awaiting treatment, maintaining communication with your doctor during this time is crucial. You should schedule an appointment with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your condition. To help prepare for a remote appointment, download this Virtual Consultation Guide provided by Global Heart Hub. It will help you #StepUp for your heart health by ensuring you’re prepared to ask and answer important questions regarding your health.
Despite the pandemic, it is necessary for you to put your well-being first and listen to your heart. Do not let the fear of COVID-19 or of going to the hospital keep you from advocating for your health. When your heart says so, #JustGo – and when your heart needs you, #StepUp!