Increased emergency calls during the covid-19 pandemic in saudi arabia: A national retrospective study
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The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has a direct and indirect effect on the different healthcare systems around the world. In this study, we aim to describe the impact on the utilization of emergency medical services (EMS) in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic. We studied cumulative data from emergency calls collected from the SRCA. Data were separated into three periods: before COVID-19 (1 January–29 February 2020), during COVID-19 (1 March–23 April 2020), and during the Holy Month of Ramadan (24 April–23 May 2020). A marked increase of cases was handled during the COVID-19 period compared to the number before pandemic. Increases in all types of cases, except for those related to trauma, occurred during COVID-19, with all regions experiencing increased call volumes during COVID-19 compared with before pandemic. Demand for EMS significantly increased throughout Saudi Arabia during the pandemic period. Use of the mobile application ASAFNY to request an ambulance almost doubled during the pandemic but remained a small fraction of total calls. Altered weekly call patterns and increased call volume during the pandemic indicated not only a need for increased staff but an alteration in staffing patterns.
Al-Wathinani, Ahmed; Hertelendy, Attila J.; Alhurishi, Sultana; Mobrad, Abdulmajeed; Alhazmi, Riyadh; Altuwaijri, Mohammad; Alanazi, Meshal; Alotaibi, Raied; and Goniewicz, Krzysztof, "Increased emergency calls during the covid-19 pandemic in saudi arabia: A national retrospective study" (2021). All Faculty. 496.