The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Americans to adapt their daily routines. In 2020, there was a significant increase in house fires according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). The objective of this study was to characterize the changes in suspected smoke inhalations (SSIs) during the first year of the pandemic in the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS). The NEMSIS database was queried for all EMS transports captured between 2017 and 2020. Differences in the incidences of SSIs and fire dispatches in 2020 were estimated using Poisson regression models. There was a 13.4% increase in the incidence of fire dispatches and a 15% increase in SSIs transported in 2020 compared to the previous 3 years. The incidence rate ratio of both fire dispatches (1.271; 95% CI: 1.254-1.288; P < .001) and SSI (1.152; 95% CI: 1.070-1.241; P < .001) was significantly elevated in 2020. The increases in fire dispatches and SSIs observed in the NEMSIS database are in concordance with other literature indicating the increase in fire incidence and morbidity observed during the pandemic. These results should inform fire prevention outreach efforts and resource allocation in burn centers in the event of future pandemic.
Habarth-Morales, Theodore E; Rios Diaz, Arturo J.; Isch, Emily; Chandragiri, Shreyas; Qi, Lucy; Ni, Rose; and Caterson, Edward J., "Increased Incidence of Suspected Smoke Inhalation During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: A National Database Study" (2022). Student Papers, Posters & Projects. Paper 108.
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