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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 18(3); 2007 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2007;18(3): 190-195.
Maritime Remote Medical Advice Performed by Emergency Medical Information Center in South Korea
Hyung Seok Park, Jinwoo Jeong, Jung Wook Lee, Bong Gyun Cho, Yongin Kim, Sung Kwun Kim, Seok Ran Yeom, Suck Ju Cho
1Busan Emergency Information Center (1339), Korea. call1339@hanmail.net
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Korea.
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
Seafarers injured at sea need appropriate and prompt medical advice. Since 2002, the Busan emergency medical information center (BEMIC) has provided remote medical advice to vessels on the distant ocean via telephone, e-mail, facsimile and radio-transmission.
METHODS:
Seventy-four cases had requested remote medical advices to BEMIC from Jan 2005 to Jul 2005, and they were studied retrospectively. We analyzed patients' general characteristics, type of disease or injury, dispositions, and so forth. The cases were classified into three groups according to disposition. Class I was defined as a case which required simple treatment. Class II involved medical or surgical treatment with close observation. Class III required transfer to the nearest harbor instantly due to severe or uncertain condition.
RESULTS:
The nationalities of subjects were Korean (32.4%), Southeast Asians (35.1%), Chinese (24.3%) and others. The most common symptom was abdominal pain (24.3%). The patients'disease types were acute disease (53.4%), trauma (20.3%), burn (13.7%), chronic disease (8.2%) and others. There were 8 voluntary medication cases, which were performed by seamen before taking medical advice. The dispositions were class I (6.8%), class II (39.7%), and class III (53.5%), respectively. A cross-sectional study between the types and the dispositions was performed, revealing a statistical significance (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION:
Despite the lack of any kind of direct support from ship companies or governments, the remote medical advice service has performed. Enhancing educational programs based on this data is necessary in order to provide effective education of seafarers.
Key words: Ships, Telemedicine, Remote consultation
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