Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Emergency departments have always been the first point of contact for hospitals in many situations, including man-made and natural disasters. The first places where patients with symptoms of COVID-19 were met in health institutions were also emergency departments. Emergency departments play an important role in diagnosing the disease and isolating patients (by hospitalization if necessary). The process, which starts with the triage of outpatients admitted to the emergency department and brought by ambulance, continues as isolation of the patients in appropriate areas including physical evaluation, management of laboratory and scanning processes and, if necessary, providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation with airway support. Afterwards, patients can be treated as an outpatient, or hospitalized, or treated at the intensive care unit in line with their preliminary diagnosis and clinical conditions. Disruptions that may occur in one or more of these stages can lead to crowds and lengthy queues in the emergency department by prolonging the followup period of the patients. One of the strengths of Turkey at this point is that emergency departments are accustomed to the heavy patient load. The experiences gained from these conditions have facilitated the organization of pre-hospital emergency medical services, pandemic hospitals, and their emergency departments. In this organization, the main goal should be to provide uninterrupted and high-quality patient care through personnel training, personal protection measures, and the creation of physical conditions. Turkey's emergency departments are accustomed to managing the intensive patient flow, as they work at full capacity during normal times. Thanks to the experiences of emergency healthcare workers, health service was provided without any patient being turned away from the door of the emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this review, we aimed to present the organization of pandemic hospitals and emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. We made a schematic representation of the architectural areas through the emergency department of Ankara City Hospital, which has a bed capacity of 4200 with 256 beds in emergency department.


COVID-19 pandemics, disasters, emergency treatment, emergencies

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