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9-1-1 trends for EMS calls during the COVID-19 pandemic

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9-1-1 trends for EMS calls during the COVID-19 pandemic

MedStar’s response volume is down 19% from January, and ambulance transports to the hospital are down 30%, the organization said in a news release.
That raises a question. Is the fear of coronavirus preventing people from calling 9-1-1 when they need to?
“Our crews are concerned that some patients may be waiting too long to call, and, even when they do, many patients are reluctant to go to the hospital out of fear of contracting coronavirus, or because of the restricted visitor policies enacted by many hospitals to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus, MedStar said.
MedStar’s response statistics and patient outcomes for cardiac arrest victims – patients whose heart has stopped and require CPR on scene – may reveal a concerning trend.
Responses in which a patient was found by MedStar crews to be in cardiac arrest were up 12% in March 2020 compared to March 2019.  So far in April 2020, MedStar crews responded to 38% more cardiac arrests than in April 2019.
Of the patients found to be in cardiac arrest, 54% more patients were pronounced dead on scene by MedStar crews in April 2020 than in April 20.
“To determine if this is a national trend, we requested and received comparable data from two other EMS systems, the Richmond Ambulance Authority in Virginia, and a large hospital-based EMS system in New England (who approved use of their data, but without specific attribution).  Both of those systems are experiencing similar trends, MedStar said.
The news release said It is important that people call 9-1-1 if they feel they are experiencing a medical emergency.
“Let your local EMS professionals respond, conduct a thorough medical assessment, and provide recommendations for the most appropriate medical care for you. Don’t wait to call 9-1-1, the life we save may be yours,” MedStar said.
– FWBP Staff

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