Falck COVID-19 study finds correlation between patient contact and antibodies

The ambulance company tested and surveyed more than 3,000 employees in Sweden and Denmark for the study


By Laura French

DENMARK — Falck has released the results of a COVID-19 study, which it says shows a correlation between frequent patient contact and positive antibody tests. 

The Denmark-based emergency services company conducted the study in cooperation with Professors Henrik Ullum and Kasper Karmark Iversen from the Capital Region of Denmark, and received approval for the research from The Danish National Committee on Health Research Ethics, according to a Falck news release. The project was sponsored by the Lundbeck Foundation. 

Falck has released the first results of a COVID-19 study, which found a correlation between frequent patient contact and positive antibody tests in Danish and Swedish employees. (Photo/Falck)
Falck has released the first results of a COVID-19 study, which found a correlation between frequent patient contact and positive antibody tests in Danish and Swedish employees. (Photo/Falck)

The company surveyed more than 3,000 of its employees in Sweden and Denmark, including EMS providers, firefighters, roadside assistance staff, office staff and other health care staff, and also tested the voluntary participants for COVID-19 antibodies.

Participants were asked about their number of daily patient or client contacts, ranging from zero to 20 or more. Researchers found that frequent patient contact correlated with the likelihood of a positive antibody test,  according to the press release. 

Falck reported that 3.4% of participants tested positive for antibodies. The company plans to conduct further research to gain knowledge of how the virus spreads in order to assess protection measures for employees and the public. 

"With its design, the high number of participants geographically distributed and the regular testing, the study is an opportunity for us to gain knowledge of how the virus spreads over time and the risk of infection for employees with a high, daily number of patient contacts," said Falck CEO Jakob Riis, in a statement. "We will publish interim results during the project in order to use the new knowledge as quickly as possible." 

Participants will continue to be tested for antibodies every other week until the end of 2020. 

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