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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

More Americans Using Home Remedies Instead of Seeking Medical Care

By Jill Drachenberg, Editor, Relias Media

As the COVID-19 pandemic resurges nationwide, more Americans are avoiding in-person healthcare and opting to treat illnesses and injuries at home, according to data from health technology company DrFirst.

Forty-one percent of survey respondents reported using home remedies since the start of the pandemic instead of visiting the emergency department, urgent care, or other healthcare provider. Men were more likely to try home remedies than women (45% of men vs. 35% of women). Survey findings include:

  • 41% used a topical muscle pain relief cream;
  • 37% used over-the-counter ointments to treat burns;
  • 26% treated injuries with Ace bandages, splints, or braces;
  • 40% used anti-itch creams;
  • 23% tried homeopathic remedies and essential oils;
  • 18% used medical marijuana.

Organizations such as the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) are imploring the public not to delay necessary medical care, particularly for emergencies. Hospitals are keeping their emergency rooms and other patient care areas safe and clean for patients and staff. “Emergency physicians are highly trained to handle pandemics and prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” said ACEP President William Jaquis, MD, FACEP. “Don’t hesitate to call 911 if you’re experiencing symptoms of a medical emergency. The emergency department is the safest place to be.”

Added ENA President Mike Hastings, MSN, RN, CEN, “Emergency nurses are among the first to meet and triage patients in the ED, and we understand the importance of safely and accurately assessing those seeking COVID and non-COVID treatment. Our commitment to care drives us to provide you with the best environment possible treat your emergency needs.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also urged seeking prompt medical care. “Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency care can and should be accessed and provided without delay,” the CDC wrote. “Patients might have delayed or avoided seeking care because of fear of COVID-19, unintended consequences of recommendations to stay at home, or other reasons. … Clear communication from public health and health care professionals is needed to reinforce the importance of timely emergency care for acute health conditions and to assure the public that EDs are implementing infection prevention and control guidelines to ensure the safety of their patients and healthcare personnel.”