Get to know the Emergency Room - before you need it

Get to know the ER

Posted on Dec 06, 2017

In the unfortunate and hopefully unlikely event that you need urgent medical attention, KAUST Health is equipped to take care of you. A visit to the Emergency Room (ER) is not a frequent occurrence for most people, but it is useful to understand how this service works, before you need it. 

KAUST Health emergency services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. This includes a fully equipped ER, diagnostic imaging and laboratory services, and an emergency ambulance service. 

​When should I come to the ER?​

When you have a medical concern, do not wait too long to get medical care. If the concern is urgent or serious, please dial 012-808-0911 from your mobile phone or simply 911 from a landline. Save this number in your phone today.

When you arrive at the ER, you will be triaged by a nurse immediately upon entry and priority is given to the most critical situations. Most patients wait less than 10 minutes to be seen at the Emergency Room. Below are the timing expectations which have been established for KAUST Health:
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Sometimes when you come to the ER, we may arrange a clinic appointment for you. If that happens, it is because the condition is not urgent, and it is best to see the relevant Family Medicine doctor, Pediatrician, Ob/Gyn or specialty doctor rather than an ER consultant.  

​Who staffs the ER?​
The team in ER is made up of a consultant physician and a full nursing team, supported by a receptionist. There is a full team in place 24-hours a day.  Our consultants are all highly qualified, and they work 12 hour shifts, changing over at 8am and 8pm.

How busy is the ER?​

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In 2017 until the end of September 2017 we have had 5,358 visits to our ER. Our on-campus ambulances responded 250 times to 911 calls during the same period. Our ER is equipped to handle a range of needs from relatively minor cuts and bruises through to all sorts of major emergencies, including providing advanced life support.

​What happens when you need to be transferred to Jeddah by ambulance?

The vast majority of our emergency patients do not need to leave KAUST to get the medical care they need. In the first 9 months of 2017 we transferred 157 patients to a hospital in Jeddah by ambulance. There were 57 pregnancy transfers, mainly for delivery, and from the total patients transferred almost all had further treatment, had diagnostic tests like MRI scans that are not available at KAUST Health, or were admitted to hospital. 

There were just 21 of the 157 that were discharged from the ER with no further treatment.  Whilst this is frustrating for those 21 community members, we take a careful approach to transfers, and we would prefer to have somebody moving towards the hospital if we are concerned that their condition may worsen.

​What are the ambulances like?


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KAUST Health's continuous investment program helps us provide the latest health technology for our patients. This applies all of our medical instruments, including our ambulances.

All our ambulances are built to very high standard to provide both safety and comfort to those on board. They include onboard oxygen and suction, comprehensive air conditioning, power handling for all of the specialist monitoring and resuscitation equipment that is needed for transferring patients. The accommodations on board also include a safe and adaptable space for an EMT, a paramedic, a patient, and a patient’s friend or relative. 

We recently received a new ambulance, bringing us to 3 KAUST-owned ambulances. The new vehicle was custom made in the US to our specifications, working with specialist local partners in Riyadh. It is suitable for use on campus and also for longer trips to Jeddah. 

​More information about the ER

If you have any other questions or comments about the KAUST Health ER, feel free to contact our Patient Relations Team


Get to know the ER