[Changes in number of emergency medical service deployments in an urban area during the first COVID-19 pandemic-related contact restriction phase].Notf Rett Med. 2021 Apr 23 [Online ahead of print]NR
To contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, public life was reduced through contact restriction measures (referred to as "lockdown" in the further course for reading simplicity), among other things to make health system resources available for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. In parallel, a decrease in emergency patients was observed in the public health system.
For two 10-week periods before and during the lockdown, ambulance service deployment rates were analysed in 6 ambulance service areas for 6 tracer diagnoses. Random effects were minimised by comparing the results with the corresponding 2018 and 2019 time periods and a calculated expected value.
For emergency ambulance service calls, there was a reduction in call numbers (-16%) during the lockdown. A 20% reduction for the categories cardiac and cerebral ischaemia was found. In the urban area, the reduction in cardiac ischaemia was less pronounced at 14% than in the surrounding area at 23%. The deployment figures for intoxications decreased by 27% and for psychiatric emergencies by 16%.
The public ambulance service was not overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic; there was a decrease in depolyments during the lockdown. For the reduction in cerebral or cardiac ischaemias, the explanatory models for the influence of the lockdown are missing. Further studies on the utilisation behaviour of the ambulance service during a lockdown appear necessary in order to detect potentially fatal reductions in utilisation for the patient outcome and to be able to counteract them through education.