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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
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Analysis of emergency air medical services over 9 years in the Penghu archipelago of Taiwan


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei; Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
2 Research Assistant Center, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei; Office of Superintendent, Tri-Service General Hospital Penghu Branch, National Defence Medical Center, Peghu, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Giou-Teng Yiang,
Department of Emergency Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, 289, Jianguo Road, New Taipei
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_216_18

Objective: Emergency air medical services (EAMS) share a common helicopter system for prehospital care and transfer in several countries. In Penghu, two systems are involved in EAMS: the helicopter and C130 systems. Given their features and limitations, patients using the two systems have significantly different characteristics. Materials and Methods: To clearly understand the disease patterns and dynamic changes in transferred patients, we studied 1228 patients transported from Penghu to Taiwan between January 2009 and December 2017. Results: Our findings show that the helicopter group had more acute diseases, while the C130 system group had more chronic diseases. Cardiovascular disease was the most common diagnosis (328 patients, 26.71%), followed by cerebrovascular disease (263 patients, 21.41%) and gastrointestinal disease (221 patients, 17.99%). Following interventions to support local medicine by Tri-Service General Hospital and the establishment of a cardiac catheterization laboratory, the annual number of transported patients decreased, especially those with cardiovascular diseases. The disease pattern also shifted from acute to chronic disease. Conclusion: Current data indicate that the local medical system is developing the ability to manage chronic diseases and care problems. This article analyzes dynamic changes in the disease patterns of transferred patients in both EAMS groups, providing a strong foundation for developing local medical systems.


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