Study on the Patterns of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services in Ullung Island

울릉도 지역의 헬리콥터를 이용한 응급환자 후송 실태

  • Kim, Tae-Hun (Yangbuk Integrated Public Health Subcente) ;
  • Lim, Hyun-Sul (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University) ;
  • Lee, Kwan (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University)
  • 김태훈 (경주시 양북통합보건지소) ;
  • 임현술 (동국대학교 의과대학 예방의학교실) ;
  • 이관 (동국대학교 의과대학 예방의학교실)
  • Published : 2002.12.30


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the patterns of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in Ullung Island. Methods : The authors reviewed the records from emergency room diaries and the lists of helicopter transfers in the Ullung Public Health Medical Center over the 5-year period from Jan 1, 1997 to Dec 31, 2001. Results : One hundred thirteen cases were transferred by helicopters in 88 flights. According to year, the number of flights was 13(14.8%) and the number of cases was 15(13.3%) in 1997; 17(19.3%) and 21(18.6%) in 1998; 18(20.5%) and 20(17.7%) in 1999; 17(19.3%) and 20(17.7%) in 2000; and 23(26.1%) and 37(32.7%) in 2001. According to the kind of helicopter, the number of flights was 46(52.3%) and the number of cases was 60(53.1%) by Maritime police; and 19(21.6%) and 28(25.1%) by 119 rescue. According to time zone, there were no night flights. According to sex and age, there were 75 male cases(66.4%) and 28 cases(28.3%) of patients aged sixty years and over. The number of flights was 11(12.5%) and the number of cases was 15(13.3%) in November; 10 flights(11.4%) and 14 cases(12.4%) in March; and 7 cases(8.0%) in each of September, October and April. The most common season of helicopter transfer cases was autumn. According to transfer area, there were 48 cases (42.5%) in Pohang city, Gyeonsangbukdo; 35(31.0%) in Gangnung city, Gangwondo; and 17(15.0%) in Daegu metropolitan city. According to condition, there were 27 cases(23.9%) of cerebro-vascular accident, 13(11.5%) of fracture and 11(9.7%) of head injury. According to admission department, there were 42 cases(37.2%) in Neurosurgery, 21(18.6%) in Internal Medicine and 13(11.5%) in Orthopedic Surgery. According tothe Korea Standard Classification of Disease(3-KSCD), circulatory systemic disease(IX) and injury, intoxication and others (XIX) were the two most frequent categories with 34 cases(30.1%) each, followed by digestive system disease (XI) with 23 cases(20.4%). Conclusions : HEMS in Ullung Island leave much to be desired. Helicopters cannot make a night flight and are not equipped with medical facilities. HEMS in islands such as Ullung Island are essential. We hope that night flights, equipment-monitoring systems for emergency patients in the helicopters, and a law related to HEMS in the island will all be established.