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.
Alanazy ARM, Wark S, Fraser J, Nagle A. Factors impacting patient outcomes associated with use of emergency medical services operating in urban versus rural areas: a systematic review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(10):1-16. doi:10.3390/ijerph16101728. [PubMed: 31100851]
Shapira S, Friger M, Bar Dayan Y, Aharonson Daniel L. Healthcare workers' willingness to respond following a disaster: a novel statistical approach toward data analysis. BMC Med Educ. 2019;19(1):1-12. doi:10.1186/s12909-019-1561-7
Burkholder TW, King RA. Emergency physicians as good samaritans: survey of frequency, locations, supplies, and medications. West J Emerg Med. 2016;17(1):15-7. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2015.11.28884. [PubMed: 26823924]
Adusumalli J, Benkhadra K, Murad MH. Good samaritan laws and graduate medical education: a tristate survey. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2018;2(4):336-341. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2018.07.002. [PubMed: 30560235]
Garneau WM, Harris DM, Viera AJ. Cross-sectional survey of good samaritan behavior by physicians in North Carolina. BMJ Open. 2016;6(3):1-8. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010720. [PubMed: 26966061]
Public Law 105-170 105th Congress An Act. pdf 2019. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-105publ170/ pdf/PLAW-105publ170.pdf
Good Samaritan Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.2. Weblog. 2001. https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/01g02.
Jaeck F, Cooke P, Verstrepen W. The Good Samaritan Law Across Europe. Parable Good Samarit. 1632-1633. Weblog.
Dachs RJ, Elias JM. What you need to know when called upon to be a Good Samaritan. Fam Pract Manag. 2008;15(4):37-40. [PubMed: 18444315]
How a Saudi Physician Saved Victims of Car Crash [Translated]. Al-Arabiya news. Weblog. 2019. https://tinyurl.com/y78wc5fd
Saudi Doctor Saves Passenger on Flight [translated]. Okaz news journal. Weblog. 2018. https://www.okaz.com.sa/article/ 1652992.
Ministry of Health- Saudi Arabia. Health Care Profession Law. Weblog. 2020. https://www.moh.gov.sa/en/Ministry/Rules/ Documents/Executive-Regulations-Health-Profession-Ar.pdf.
Williams K. Doctors as good samaritans: some empirical evidence concerning emergency medical treatment in Britain. J Law Soc. 2003;30(2):258-82. doi: 10.1111/1467-6478.00256
Al Hunaishi W, Hoe VC, Chinna K. Factors associated with healthcare workers willingness to participate in disasters: a cross-sectional study in Sana'a, Yemen. BMJ Open. 2019;9(10):1-9. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030547. [PubMed: 31628126]
Loke AY, Fung WMO, Liu X. Mainland china nurses' willingness to report to work in a disaster. Am J Disaster Med. 2013;8(4):273-82. doi:10.5055/ajdm.2013.0134. [PubMed: 24481892]
Al Khalaileh MA, Bond E, Alasad JA. Jordanian nurses' perceptions of their preparedness for disaster management. Int Emerg Nurs. 2012;20(1):14-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2011.01.001. [PubMed: 22243713]
Burke RV, Goodhue CJ, Chokshi NK, Upperman JS. Factors associated with willingness to respond to a disaster: a study of healthcare workers in a tertiary setting. Prehosp Disaster
Med. 2011;26(4):244-50. doi:10.1017/S1049023X11006492. [PubMed: 22008278]
Charney RL, Rebmann T, Flood RG. Hospital employee willingness to work during earthquakes versus pandemics. J Emerg Med. 2015;49(5):665-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2015.07.030
Ng WL, Abdullah N. Knowledge, confidence and attitude of primary care doctors in managing in-flight medical emergencies: a cross-sectional survey. Singapore Med J. 2020;61(2):81-5. doi:10.11622/smedj.2020016. [PubMed: 32152640]