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Article

Increased Emergency Calls during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia: A National Retrospective Study

1
Department of Emergency Medical Services, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz College Emergency Medical Services, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, College of Business, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33174, USA
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Department of Community Health Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Deputy of General Manager of EMS Administration, Saudi Red Crescent Authority, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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General Manager of Medical Supply, Saudi Red Crescent Authority, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Aviation Security, Military University of Aviation, 08521 Dęblin, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010014
Received: 29 November 2020 / Revised: 18 December 2020 / Accepted: 20 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges Facing the Health System)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: EMS; Saudi Arabia; call volume; COVID-19; Saudi Red Crescent Authority EMS; Saudi Arabia; call volume; COVID-19; Saudi Red Crescent Authority
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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Wathinani, A.; Hertelendy, A.J.; Alhurishi, S.; Mobrad, A.; Alhazmi, R.; Altuwaijri, M.; Alanazi, M.; Alotaibi, R.; Goniewicz, K. Increased Emergency Calls during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia: A National Retrospective Study. Healthcare 2021, 9, 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010014

AMA Style

Al-Wathinani A, Hertelendy AJ, Alhurishi S, Mobrad A, Alhazmi R, Altuwaijri M, Alanazi M, Alotaibi R, Goniewicz K. Increased Emergency Calls during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia: A National Retrospective Study. Healthcare. 2021; 9(1):14. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010014

Chicago/Turabian Style

Al-Wathinani, Ahmed, Attila J. Hertelendy, Sultana Alhurishi, Abdulmajeed Mobrad, Riyadh Alhazmi, Mohammad Altuwaijri, Meshal Alanazi, Raied Alotaibi, and Krzysztof Goniewicz. 2021. "Increased Emergency Calls during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia: A National Retrospective Study" Healthcare 9, no. 1: 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010014

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