Turkish Telemedical Assistance Service: last four years of activity

Int Marit Health. 2018;69(3):184-191. doi: 10.5603/IMH.2018.0030.

Abstract

Background: Telemedical Assistance Service (TMAS) is very important for seafarers and passengers who are far from full-fledged health services. This study aimed to determine the frequency of using Turkish TMAS by seafarers and other patients and to compare the given services.

Materials and methods: The data obtained from calls to Turkish TMAS in between 2014 and 2017 are composed of 5080 calls. In the study, they were examined in two groups as calls regarding seafarers and other patients. Also, the diseases or injuries related to these calls were evaluated in 22 main groups according to ICD-10 code. All of these cases were analysed by using descriptive statistics according to types of callers, type of diseases, types of given services and methods of contacts.

Results: There were 5080 contacts to Turkish TMAS from January 2014 to December 2017. Contacts were 92.3% for seafarers and 7.7% for other patients. The most common reason of contacts was similar for both seafarers and other patients and it was injury and poisoning situations. While the most common service given to seafarers was giving a medicine or other treatment, the most common service given to other patients was medical evacuation.

Conclusions: This study laid weight on diseases or injuries of seafarers and other patients at sea. According to this situation, TMAS can improve and maintain its service quality and also in the light of the findings, a guide for seafarers and other patients can be prepared in order to lessen such diseases and injuries.

Keywords: maritime health; occupational health; seafarer; telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Naval Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ships
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transportation of Patients / statistics & numerical data
  • Turkey