NBC 5’s Larry Collins covers an interesting – and concerning – result of the COVID-19 pandemic… 

While responses classified as possible Coronavirus are increasing, overall 9-1-1 calls for medical emergencies are decreasing.  Even when people do call, fewer are opting to go to the hospital.

MedStar’s overall response volume is down 11% and transports to the hospital are down 31% from January 2020. 

EMS agencies across the country are reporting similar reductions in call volume and transports.

Click here to view the news story.

Potential Reasons for Fewer Responses:

  • People are staying home, so there are fewer car crashes and other medical calls that you would typically see when people are “out and about.” #Istayhomefor
  • We’re hearing from our crews that people are hesitant to go to the hospital out of fear of contracting Coronavirus, so people may not be calling 9-1-1 to go to the hospital.

Potential Reasons for Fewer Transports:

  • We have special protocols in place to preserve hospital capacity, which includes not transporting patients with COVID-related symptoms who have very low acuity medical conditions to the hospital.  Instead, we provide them with alternate resources to better care for their medical condition such as contacting their doctor.
  • We are hearing from our field crews that when we let the patient know that the hospitals are restricting visitors, many are choosing not to go to the hospital.

Call 9-1-1!

  • We are concerned that people may be waiting too long to call 9-1-1 with medical issues, and as a result, they may be in worse condition when they finally do call.
  • We strongly encourage people to call 9-1-1 if they perceive they are having a medical emergency. Let the EMS experts help determine the right path for their medical care.