For many people, a trip to the local doctor’s office—for whatever reason, big or small—is fraught with fear. There’s even a term for it: White Coat Syndrome. Seems that sufferers of White Coat Syndrome show signs of an elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure and rapid breathing when in a physician’s office, often skewing the results of standard diagnostic tests. They even get so worked up they may forget salient details as to why they came to see a doctor in the first place, requiring them to write down all questions and concerns.
Now with the spread of COVID-19, sufferers of White Coat Syndrome—and everyone else—have more concerns about entering a doctor’s office. That’s because the novel coronavirus is transmitted via aerosolized droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. And it’s logical that infected people would seek out treatment in doctor’s offices, where they would come in contact with other people susceptible to the contagion.
According to the New York Times, people are avoiding hospitals and doctor’s offices, cancelling regularly scheduled appointments and limiting their trips to the doctor’s for minor illness and injuries. And, according to the Boston Globe, emergency rooms across the country have seen a 40 percent drop in cases. People just aren’t going to seek physicians.
It’s not for lack of trying from major health institutions though. The Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the Cleveland Clinic and others have issued statements and public service announcements regarding doctor visits during the pandemic, outlining ways for people to be safer. These include wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and social distancing when in waiting rooms.
Another way to ensure the safety of patients and staff: installing free-standing air purification systems, like Aeramax Professional air purifiers. These commercial-grade purifiers use a four-stage True HEPA filtration system to remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, like viruses, the flu, bacteria and germs from enclosed spaces. Since they are portable, they don’t add additional burden to existing HVAC systems, like bulky in-system HEPA filters do, and can be located in spots here people congregate, like waiting rooms.
In fact, scientists have taken up the call for the use of air purifiers. In the September issue of the journal Environment International, researchers outlined the positive effects of using air purifiers to combat the transmission of COVID-19 in indoor air:
“While uncertainties remain regarding the relative contributions of the different transmission pathways, we argue that existing evidence is sufficiently strong to warrant engineering controls targeting airborne transmission as part of an overall strategy to limit infection risk indoors. Appropriate building engineering controls include sufficient and effective ventilation… enhanced by particle filtration and air disinfection, avoiding air recirculation and avoiding overcrowding. Often, such measures can be easily implemented and without much cost…”
So, while air purifiers can’t eliminate a fear of white coats, they can alleviate concerns for virus and bacteria transmission, making it safer to go back to a doctor’s office again.