An Assessment of Physician Response to Provide Emergency Medical Assistance Outside of Routine Clinical Care: A Cross-sectional Study in a Tertiary Academic Hospital in Saudi Arabia


Cross-sectional studies
Saudi arabia


How to Cite

AlSaif, S. ., & Alsaad, S. (2022). An Assessment of Physician Response to Provide Emergency Medical Assistance Outside of Routine Clinical Care: A Cross-sectional Study in a Tertiary Academic Hospital in Saudi Arabia. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 24(8).


Background: Medical emergencies are unpredictable situations that can occur outside of the health facilities and when doctors are off-duty. Limited studies, to the best of our knowledge, have explored factors that contribute to physicians’ responses to such situations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate physicians working in a teaching hospital by responding to multiple hypothetical scenarios that can occur outside of routine clinical care and the contributing factors which lead to the physicians’ responses.

Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted among physicians working in King Saud University Medical City (KSUMC) Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from February to October 2020. The Participants were selected using the convenience sampling method. The calculated sample was 384 individuals. An online survey tool was designed using a validated questionnaire to assess the opportunities for interventions, responses to hypothetical emergency scenarios, or willingness to provide different levels of care. In addition, the hindrances to providing care, including fear of legal ramifications were assessed.

Results: A total of 360 physicians completed the survey. Moreover, 57.2% of physicians reported having intervened at least once in the past. No significant difference was found between specialties. Gender, experience, and nationality significantly affect the willingness to intervene. Fear of potential litigation was the most common reason for hesitancy in dealing with an emergency.

Conclusion: Local physicians are less inclined to offer assistance in an emergency. Fear of litigation and perceived lack of training were among the most notable reasons for hesitancy in emergencies. Continuous education on local regulations may encourage physicians to intervene in an emergency.


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