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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 33(5); 2022 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2022;33(5): 497-505.
COVID-19 유행이 119 구급대의 중증 환자 이송 시간에 미친 영향
박종은 , 최성혁 , 윤영훈 , 김정윤 , 조영덕 , 이지영 , 박성준
고려대학교 의과대학 응급의학교실
The effect of COVID-19 epidemic on 119 transportation time for severely ill patients
Jong Eun Park , Sung-Hyuk Choi , Young-Hoon Yoon , Jung-Yoon Kim , Young-Duck Cho , Ji Young Lee , Sung Joon Park
Department of Emergency Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Sung Joon Park ,Tel: 02-2626-1561, Fax: 02-2626-1562, Email: kuedpsj@hanmail.net,
Received: September 30, 2021; Revised: November 18, 2021   Accepted: November 22, 2021.  Published online: October 31, 2022.
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues, it is believed that COVID-19 may have affected the transportation time of 119 emergency medical services (EMS). However, there are only a few studies to support this claim. The current study was undertaken to investigate the altered pre-hospital transportation time according to the severity of the patient after the COVID-19 period.
This is a retrospective observational study conducted on patients aged 15 or older who visited three emergency medical centers from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020, using the 119 EMS. The primary outcome was total pre-hospital transportation time; secondary outcomes include activation time, response time, on-scene, and transportation time.
Before COVID-19, the total pre-hospital transportation times for patients admitted to the intensive care unit and patients with out-of-cardiac arrest were 26.78±9.91 minutes and 27.92±8.38 minutes, respectively. Post-COVID-19, the time increased to 35.31±16.30 minutes and 32.46±14.69 minutes, respectively (P<0.001). Furthermore, the total pre-hospital transportation time before and after COVID-19 differed in the critical patient group with Korean Triage and Acuity Scale 1 and 2 (26.58±10.12 minutes vs. 33.93±15.78 minutes). In addition, an increase in the total pre-hospital transportation time was observed after COVID-19 in the emergency and non-emergency patient groups. An increased time interval was also determined for the activation time, response time, on-scene arrival, and transportation time for all patient groups after the COVID-19 pandemic (P<0.001).
COVID-19 has resulted in delays throughout the pre-hospital transportation time, greatly impacting critical patients.
Key words: Emergency medical service; Transportation; COVID-19
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