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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-44

Nontransported Cases after Emergency Medical Service Callout in the Rural and Urban Areas of the Riyadh Region

School of Rural Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Stuart Wark
School of Rural Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales
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DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_560_20

PMID: 33519342

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Background: Callouts resulting in patient nontransportation can impact the overall quality of prehospital Emergency Medical Service (EMS), as resources in health care are finite. While some studies have investigated the causes of nontransportation, few have examined whether there are differences between urban and rural patients. Similarly, there has been limited research focused on rural EMS in locations such as the Middle East. Objectives: This study investigated EMS cases that resulted in nontransportation in the urban and rural areas of the Riyadh region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 800 (400 rural and 400 urban) patient records was undertaken, using 12 months (January 1 to December 31, 2017) of data from the Saudi Red Crescent EMS. A random sampling method was used to select ambulance records from the 78 urban and rural EMS stations in the Riyadh region, with demographic data and reasons for patient nontransport analyzed comparatively. Results: A total of 310 cases were nontransported (39%) (rural: 146; urban = 164). The highest rates of nontransportation cases were of medical and trauma callouts (44.6% and 39.6%, respectively), which was consistent in both areas. The most common reason for nontransportation in both urban and rural areas was refusal of treatment and transportation (66.5% and 59.9%, respectively). Further, 10 patients were treated on-scene and released by rural EMS, while no urban patients were treated and released. Overall, the case presentations of nontransported patients did not differ significantly between both areas, and it was found that gender, age, and geographic location were not predictors for nontransportation. Conclusions: The high rate of nontransportation, particularly in medical and trauma callouts, indicates that a review of current EMS protocols may be required, along with consideration of relevant community education programs.

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