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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 25(1); 2014 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2014;25(1): 60-68.
Present Situation of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in South Korea during the First Year
Changyeul Lee, Jinseong Cho, Hyukjun Yang, Jinju Kim, Wonbin Park, Geun Lee, Handeok Yoon, Sangwoo Oh
1Gumdan Top General Hospital, Incheon, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea. truecho@hanmail.net
3National Emergency Medical Center, Nation Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
4Mokpo Hankuk Hospital, Mokpo, Jeollanam-do, Korea.
HEMS is expected to shorten transportation time to an advanced facility and to enable administration of advanced treatment at the scene. In Korea, HEMS was launched in September 2011. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of HEMS in South Korea during the first year and to provide information for use in improvement.
Data were collected from September 23. 2011 to September 22. 2012; emergency patients on islands and in vulnerable areas were transported by helicopter. During the one-year study period, a prospective cohort study was conducted. Target diseases were acute coronary syndrome, stroke, and severe trauma. We classified patients according to two groups (severe group vs. mild group), whether they had been admitted to the intensive care unit (included death in the emergency room) or not.
During this period, the total request mission number was 555 and the number of patients transported to base hospitals was 322. Differences between severe group and minor group were as follows: (1) final diagnosis; severe trauma (27.7% vs. 3.5%), cerebrovascular accident (CVA) (24.3% vs. 4.2%), and acute coronary syndrome (7.3% vs. 2.1%), p<0.001. (2) classification of transport area; islands (45.8% vs. 77.2%), bridge islands (26.0% vs. 15.9%), and inland area (28.3% vs. 6.9%), p<0.001. (3) the median time of call to hospital time was 52 vs. 55 minutes (p=0.289). and the median time of on scene time was 9 vs. 8 minutes (p=0.046).
During the 12-month period, air ambulance played an important role in medically vulnerable areas (inclusion islands). However, the number of transport missions was still relatively low, and has shown a gradual increase.
Key words: Air ambulances, Emergency medical services, Rural health services
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