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Prevalence of Emergency Cases Among Pilgrims Presenting at King Abdulaziz International Airport Health Care Center at Hajj Terminal, Jeddah, during Hajj Season, 1440H - 2019.


The annual Hajj brings between 2-3 million pilgrims from every corner of the globe to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. During the Hajj season of 2019 (1440 H), the total number of pilgrims was 2,489,406, of whom 1,855,027 came from abroad. This study sets out to investigate the prevalence of emergency health problems, types of issues, and their outcome among pilgrims presenting to King Abdulaziz International Airport Health Care Center (KAIA-HC) at the Hajj Terminal in Jeddah during the hajj season of 1440 H.


A cross-sectional study was conducted by reviewing the medical records of pilgrims who presented for treatment at KAIA-HC, before and after Hajj between 1 Dhul Qi'dah to 29 Dhul Hijjah 1440 H. Data gathered included demographics, medical history, diagnoses of the emergency health problems, infections, and the outcomes. Data was analyzed using Epi Info 7.


Of the 7,643 pilgrims treated at KAIA-HC, 296 (3.9%) had been emergency cases. Their mean age was 43 years (Standard Deviation (SD) ±7.5); 51.7% were females; the highest (44%) was among the 30 - 60 years age group among both males and females; the highest two nationalities were Indonesian (13.8%) followed by Egyptian (12.5%). Diagnoses included hypertension 18.9%, bronchial asthma 16.9%, and fever (2.0%), with two cases (0.7%) suffering from heat exhaustion. Twelve (4.1%) of the relative had a myocardial infarction, 10 (3.4%) had heart failure, and there was one reported case (0.3%) of cerebrovascular accident. Regarding outcome, 28% were referred to hospitals, and 11 (3.7%) required CPR, of whom eight survived. Of the total, 13 cases died (4.4%), with 10 (3.4%) dying on arrival at the center.


Our study emphasizes that pilgrims from abroad are older and already have some form of chronic disease. Cardiovascular diseases represented the main reason for emergency cases followed by respiratory infections. 72.3% of patients were discharged without the need for a higher level of medical care.