SEOUL -- South Korea has launched its first maritime severe trauma medical team to treat critical patients at sea. The medical team is based on the southern resort island of Jeju.
South Korea's emergency headquarters operate multiple severe trauma medical teams to treat patients in critical conditions on land. Emergency specialist teams consist of doctors and nurses who transport patients using "doctor helicopters" to nearby trauma centers and emergency rooms.
However, situations are quite different for those who are out in the ocean. When there is a critically ill patient in the sea, it is hard for doctors to quickly reach the vessel the patient is on and apply the required medical treatment while moving via doctor choppers. Also, there were no dedicated maritime severe trauma medical teams. Instead, firefighters and maritime police used helicopters to carry patients.
Korea Coast Guard's Jeju office said that the maritime law enforcing body signed a cooperation agreement with Jeju Halla Hospital to establish South Korea's first maritime trauma medical system. When a critically ill patient is reported from a vessel, the Jeju Coast Guard will provide manpower and equipment for the transfer of the patient while Halla Hospital provides remote medical assistance through a new maritime medical system.
"In case of an emergency involving severe medical trauma patients at sea, we will do our best to save people's lives and safety by cooperating with medical specialists at Jeju Halla Hospital," Jeju Coast Guard head Han Sang-cheol said in a statement on November 1.
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