CMAJ Open 2021 Apr-Jun;9(2):E592-E601. Epub 2021 Jun 1.
Cumming School of Medicine (Lane, Blanchard, Shaw, McRae), University of Calgary; Department of Emergency Medical Services (Blanchard), Alberta Health Services; Department of Emergency Medicine (McRae), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Buick), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unique pressures on the emergency services system. This study describes changes in the presentation, presenting severity and disposition of patients accessing emergency services in Calgary, Alberta, during the first wave of the pandemic.
Methods: In this descriptive study, we constructed a population cohort of all patients who accessed emergency services by calling emergency medical services (EMS) (ambulance service that provides prehospital treatment and transport to medical facilities) or presenting directly to an emergency department (4 adult and 1 pediatric) or 2 urgent care centres in Calgary during the exposure period (December 2019 to June 2020) compared to 2 historical control periods (December to June, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019) combined. Read More