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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 33(6); 2022 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2022;33(6): 599-615.
Status of functional capacity of the emergency care system in Cambodia: a cross-sectional survey
Duk Hwan Ko , Kyung Hwan Kim , Junseok Park , Dong Wun Shin , Hyunjong Kim , Joon Min Park , Hoon Kim , Woochan Jeon , Jung Eon Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea
Correspondence  Jung Eon Kim ,Tel: 031-910-7119, Fax: 031-910-7188, Email: jekim1229@naver.com,
Received: October 21, 2021; Revised: December 7, 2021   Accepted: December 15, 2021.  Published online: December 31, 2022.
The establishment of a proper emergency care system can significantly decrease the number of deaths and disabilities. However, this is neglected in many low- and middle-income countries, including Cambodia. At present, many Cambodian hospitals lack designated emergency departments, formal triage systems, and staff trained in emergency medicine. This study sought to measure the functional capacity of the Cambodian emergency care system corresponding to each hospital level using the Emergency Care Assessment Tool (ECAT).
We conducted a survey from April 19, 2021, to April 27, 2021, by distributing survey sheets to a total of eight Cambodian medical staff who were invited to a hospital in South Korea for an educational program. The ECAT comprises items evaluating the capability of hospitals to perform signal functions for each of the six emergent sentinel conditions that could occur prior to death. We analyzed the data by categorizing the hospitals into basic, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Basic-level hospitals had weaknesses in signal functions related to altered mental status and trauma care. The intermediate-level hospital showed weaknesses in signal functions related to respiratory failure, altered mental status, shock, and trauma care. Advanced-level hospitals had weaknesses in signal functions related to respiratory failure, trauma, and shock.
Our survey shows that most Cambodian hospitals lack the capability to perform the emergency signal functions expected at each level. We believe that this gap can be bridged with proper customized education targeting medical staff based on the level of their hospital and ensuring a proper supply of medical devices.
Key words: Cambodia; Emergency signal functions; Emergency care; Trauma care
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