The Role of Israel's Emergency Medical Services During a Pandemic in the Pre-Exposure Period.Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2022 Apr; 16(2):477-481.DM
The scientific literature on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is extensive, but little is written about the role of emergency medical services (EMS). The objective of this study is to describe the role of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency prehospital medical organization, in the pre-exposure period, before widespread governmental action. These efforts were based on (1) phone diagnosis, dispatch, and transport; and (2) border management checkpoints.
This is a descriptive study of MDA's role in pandemic response during the pre-exposure period. Medical emergency telephone calls from either individuals or medical sources were identified by a dispatcher as "suspected COVID-19" based on symptoms and travel exposure. Data were also collected for travelers approaching the MDA border checkpoint at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
The total number of protected transports during this time was 121. Of these, 44 (36.3%) were referred by medical sources, and 77 (63.7%) were identified as "suspected COVID-19" by dispatchers. The checkpoint was accessed by 156 travelers: 87 were sent to home-quarantine; 12 were transported to the hospital; 18 were refused entry; and 39 required no further action.
EMS can work effectively in the pre-exposure period through instructing home quarantine, providing protected transport, and staffing border control checkpoints.