HCA Midwest Health - April 21, 2020

At HCA Midwest Health, our doctors are committed to providing patients with continued care and support, especially during the coronavirus. We understand that patients are concerned about staying healthy, particularly if they are already experiencing a condition that may compromise their immune system.

Our physicians are dedicated to helping patients with comorbidities take care of their health, in addition to helping patients stay ahead of their health, before there’s an issue. We do this through providing high-quality primary care services, including preventive care. Our goal is to work together as a community to keep you safe and healthy.

To visit a primary care physician for general wellness checkups or other preventive care services, schedule an appointment online.

What is an underlying condition?

An underlying condition is a chronic medical condition that has an effect on a patient’s daily life. Depending on the severity of the condition, patients may be able to control their symptoms with lifestyle changes or medication as prescribed by a doctor.

Underlying conditions and the coronavirus

According to COVID NET, a hospital surveillance network under the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 80% of patients hospitalized due to the coronavirus experienced an underlying condition.

The most common underlying conditions associated with hospitalized patients include:

  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity

Many of these conditions can be diagnosed and treated by a primary care physician, which is why preventive care and yearly checkups are so important to a patient’s health.

What is a comorbidity?

Comorbidities occur when a patient has more than one underlying condition. Some patients develop two underlying conditions that have no relation to one another. However, oftentimes, patients will develop additional conditions as a result of complications due to their initial diagnosis.  

Comorbidities and the coronavirus

Due to the increased stress on the body from comorbid conditions, patients that have comorbidities have an even greater risk of being hospitalized due to the coronavirus.

This is because when a person experiences comorbid conditions, they may:

  • Already be experiencing complications from an underlying condition
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Need additional care that leads to increased exposure to other individuals

Knowing ways to take increased precautions during the coronavirus can help individuals increase their chances of staying healthy.

Increased precautions for at-risk individuals

It is extremely important for individuals that have a preexisting condition, or comorbidity, to take additional safety precautions in the defense against COVID-19. Knowing and understanding how to prevent exposure to the virus can help you stay safe and healthy.

In addition to following the general CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, patients with an underlying condition(s) should:

  • Communicate with your healthcare provider if there are any concerns about your underlying condition.
  • Ensure you have enough of any prescribed medications related to your condition to avoid unnecessary trips outside.
  • Find ways to cope with stress, as stress lowers the immune system. This can include:
    • Creating something, including a drawing, story or home project
    • Getting fresh air, even by opening the windows
    • Limiting daily news intake
    • Practicing yoga or meditation
  • Not delay getting emergency care for an underlying condition if necessary. Most hospitals have special precautions for patients with compromised immune systems.
  • Practicing extreme social distancing, only making trips to public areas when necessary.

At HCA Midwest Health, we are constantly reevaluating our safety measures to ensure the best and safest possible experience for our patients. If you have any questions about an underlying condition or comorbidities, our doctors are standing by to provide continued support throughout this time.