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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 25(4); 2014 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2014;25(4): 401-409.
The Demand and Causes of Emergency Medical Service Utilization of Visitors on Jeju Island, South Korea
Seo Young Ko, Sung Wook Song, Woo Jeong Kim, Young Joon Kang, Kyeong Won Kang, Hyun Soo Park, Chang Bae Park, Jeong Ho Kang
Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical School, Jeju National University, Jeju, Republic of Korea. sungwook78@gmail.com
Providing proper emergency medical services (EMS) for domestic or international visitors to popular destinations is becoming increasingly important. Jeju Island is the most visited spot in South Korea. The number of people visiting Jeju Island has increased every year, and this was over ten times the registered population on Jeju Island. The purpose of this study was to describe EMS use behavior and to estimate demand for EMS for visitors on Jeju Island.
A retrospective observational study was conducted on Jeju Island, with 580,000 citizens. EMS is a fire-based system with a single tiered intermediate service level by a single centralized dispatch center, 29 ambulances, and approximately 130 EMS providers. We collected all ambulance run-sheet data, which included comprehensive information as well as patients' address identification, monthly number of visitors, and census data of Jeju Island from January, 2010 to December, 2012.
Among 90,674 EMS transports, 7,209 (8%) were excluded because of unknown address of patients, and of all 83,456 (100%) patients using EMS, 9,733 (12%) were visitors and 73,732 (88%) were residents. The percentage of females was higher for visitors than residents (45% vs. 43%, p<0.001) and the mean age was younger in visitors (38+/-19 vs. 54+/-22, p<0.001). Injury was much higher for visitors than residents (63% vs. 38%, p<0.001). The estimated monthly number of EMS use per 10,000 people was 3.7 (95% CI 3.5 to 3.9) in visitors and 35.7 (95% CI 34.9 to 36.5) in residents, with a ratio of 0.104 (95% CI 0.099 to 0.108). The trend of ratio by year was not significant (p=0.630). The correlation between monthly EMS use in visitors and monthly number of unregistered population was significant (Pearson's correlation 0.844).
Determining EMS use behavior and the demand of EMS in visitors is a critical task. Our results are of interest in preparing and providing the provision of EMS for visitors.
Key words: Emergency medical service, Travel medicine, Needs assessment
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