Do not ignore other ailments, says Longford's Dr Padraig McGarry

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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Dr Padraig McGarry

Dr Padraig McGarry

While Covid-19 is the main issue for healthcare workers at the moment, and the main talking point for everyone else, it is essential that people don’t put other ailments on the long finger, according to Dr Padraig McGarry.

GPs have noticed a significant curtailment of clinical presentations of lots of other ailments that would normally be day-to-day issues in local surgeries.

“Patients should not ignore their symptoms, because other ailments can deteriorate all the time while Covid is present,” Dr McGarry explained.

“And they are every bit as important and should not be neglected.

“If you have symptoms that you should not ignore, ring your GP to go over it with him or her on the phone so that they can assess if something needs to be done either immediately or maybe it can be deferred. But that consultation on the phone should be taking place.”

While it’s not routine practice, he added, it is important that patients do not put other aspects of their health on the long finger out of politeness.

“I think a lot of people feel that they shouldn’t be bothering people with that and, unfortunately some stuff can fall through the cracks in that regard and be neglected and you might be storing up a major problem down the road if you don’t deal with it at an early stage,” said Dr McGarry.

“So that consultation needs to be taken over the phone so that you can get further direction.

“What’s been happening is people have delayed presenting with the likes of strokes. If you get a stroke and you get it early, it can be dealt with and you can have a full recovery in a very short space of time,” he added.

“You wait for 24 hours and you might have a permanent deficit which could have been avoided. Similarly with heart, chest pains and a lot of significant conditions that people might feel is something that is not that important.

“It is every bit important. Because an ailment is an ailment. Most people will get over their Covid-related illness. But there are other things that can happen and need to be addressed.”

Read also: Latest figures confirm there are 10 cases of coronavirus in county Longford