Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 246-251

The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on emergency department attendance: What seems to be keeping the patients away?

Department of Emergency Medicine; Singapore General Hospital; Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School; Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore; SingHealth Duke NUS Institute of Medical Simulation, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Fatimah Lateef
Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_133_20

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During outbreaks such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and COVID 19, many Emergency Departments across the world had a reduction in the general attendance, including the attendance of more serious and critical diagnoses. Here, the author shares the numbers seen at Singapore General Hospital, the largest public hospital in Singapore during the period of February to June 2020. The reduction ranged from 13% to 28% compared to the same period in 2019, before the outbreak. Patient and healthcare system-related factors which may have caused these observations are discussed. The author also puts forth the Behavioral Immune System and Response mechanism as a possible explanation for patients staying away from the hospitals during the outbreak.

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