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Varna Medical Forum

Analysis of the change in emergency department attendance as a result of COVID infection

Iliya Katrandzhiev, Boryana Naydenova


Introduction: During the pandemic, a rapid restructuring of the health system was necessary in anticipation of the unpredictable needs of the population. This included shifting people and resources to emergency medicine and intensive care.

Aim: In Bulgaria, emergency care is provided directly to patients in emergency departments or by referring patients to their GP for emergency hospitalisation. In this regard, the aim of the present study is to find out how attendance in the emergency department has changed in St. Marina University Hospital in Varna during the COVID pandemic.

Materials and Methods: From the hospital database, 94 631 patients were studied in the period 2019–2021. The results were processed statistically with SPSS v. 20.0 using analysis of variance, analysis of covariance and comparative analysis.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 44.5 years with male predominance 52.4%. There was a decreasing trend in emergency department attendance. Significant difference was found in age (p < 0.001) and the duration of the examination (p < 0.001) according to patient diagnosis.

Conclusion: The overall reduction in the prevalence of patients with non-COVID-19-related illnesses suggests both opportunities to reduce unnecessary emergency department visits for those with low severity of illness in the future and the possibility of delaying diagnosis and complications in patients with severe illness.


emergency department, attendance, change, COVID-19

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