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Syracuse Area American Heart Association says Take Care of Your Heart, Now More than Ever

American Heart Association of Greater Syracuse

Central New Yorkers having health issues not related to COVID-19 may find it difficult to visit emergency rooms, worried about the strain on the health care system. 

However, American Heart Association of CNY spokesperson Kristy Smorol says people with chronic illnesses should continue to seek help.

“ER workers have reported hearing people say, ‘I know you’re really busy, I shouldn’t have come in.’  They’re apologizing for seeking help but, now is not the time to let emergencies go.  We still have heart disease, we still have stroke, we still have emergency conditions.  We need to make sure we are still taking action.”

Pay attention to your body … and Smorol suggests calling your doctor or 911 if you’re experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms. These might include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and weakness of the arms.  She also says, continue taking medicines as prescribed.

“Don’t change your medicine without talking to your doctor.  This is not the time to not take your pills.  You doctor visit may be over the phone or over video conference.  Have those conversations with your doctor about the safest way to get care.”    

Smorol says if you’re feeling anxious in these times, activities such as walking around or cleaning the house can improve or maintain our overall health.  Their American Heart Walk is being held virtually this Sunday.  For details go to

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.