open access

Vol 5, No 3 (2020)
Editorial
Published online: 2020-06-03
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Social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic: effects of non-urgent emergency department visits

Mor Saban1, Tal Shachar2
DOI: 10.5603/DEMJ.a2020.0026
·
Disaster Emerg Med J 2020;5(3):124-126.


Affiliations

  1. The Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, 199 Aba Khoushy Ave, 3498838 Haifa, Israel
  2. The Azrieli faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University, Safed, Israel

open access

Vol 5, No 3 (2020)
EDITORIAL
Published online: 2020-06-03

Abstract

Background: An outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that started in Wuhan, China, has spread quickly, with cases confirmed in 163 countries with broad impact on all health care systems. The previous 1918-19 H1N1 influenza pandemic was the last global emerging infectious disease at such scale to compare with no access to vaccines. In that pandemic as in the current, some communities responded with a variety of non-pharmaceutical interventions, especially social distancing. These types of intervention have a comprehensive effect on health care service consumption.

Methodology: This study describes and proposes possible explanations for the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on Emergency Department (ED) non-urgent visits.

Results: Indirectly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a more informed emergency service use that allows ED’s to fulfil their defined role, providing urgent service. Currently, this is of utmost importance given the rate of the virus spreading, and rise in the proportion of patients requiring intensive care in the ED. This is undoubtedly a by-product of an international disaster.

Conclusion: At the end of the pandemic, similar elements may be implemented to reduce unnecessary ED inquiries.

Abstract

Background: An outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that started in Wuhan, China, has spread quickly, with cases confirmed in 163 countries with broad impact on all health care systems. The previous 1918-19 H1N1 influenza pandemic was the last global emerging infectious disease at such scale to compare with no access to vaccines. In that pandemic as in the current, some communities responded with a variety of non-pharmaceutical interventions, especially social distancing. These types of intervention have a comprehensive effect on health care service consumption.

Methodology: This study describes and proposes possible explanations for the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on Emergency Department (ED) non-urgent visits.

Results: Indirectly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a more informed emergency service use that allows ED’s to fulfil their defined role, providing urgent service. Currently, this is of utmost importance given the rate of the virus spreading, and rise in the proportion of patients requiring intensive care in the ED. This is undoubtedly a by-product of an international disaster.

Conclusion: At the end of the pandemic, similar elements may be implemented to reduce unnecessary ED inquiries.

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Keywords

COVID-19, pandemic, emergency department, non-urgent visit

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About this article
Title

Social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic: effects of non-urgent emergency department visits

Journal

Disaster and Emergency Medicine Journal

Issue

Vol 5, No 3 (2020)

Article type

Editorial

Pages

124-126

Published online

2020-06-03

DOI

10.5603/DEMJ.a2020.0026

Bibliographic record

Disaster Emerg Med J 2020;5(3):124-126.

Keywords

COVID-19
pandemic
emergency department
non-urgent visit

Authors

Mor Saban
Tal Shachar

References (6)
  1. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 2020; 395(10223): 497–506.
  2. Eubank S, Eckstrand I, Lewis B, et al. Commentary on Ferguson, et al., "Impact of Non-pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to Reduce COVID-19 Mortality and Healthcare Demand". Bull Math Biol. 2020; 82(4): 52.
  3. March-2020. Veterinary World. 2020; 13(3).
  4. Goto M, Al-Hasan MN. Overall burden of bloodstream infection and nosocomial bloodstream infection in North America and Europe. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013; 19(6): 501–509.
  5. Shalev AY. Biological responses to disasters. Psychiatr Q. 2000; 71(3): 277–288.
  6. Rosenbluth JM. Pandemic response: developing a mission-critical inventory and cross-training programme. J Bus Contin Emer Plan. 2010; 4(2): 126–131.

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