Background: Radio medical (RM) advice for seafarers and travelling passengers is important and can be Radio medical (RM) advice for seafarers and travelling passengers is important and can be crucial for the optimal medical treatment on board ships. The aim was to analyse the data from consultations with passenger ferries to identify areas for possible improvements. Methods: Data from the journals for one year from Radio Medical Denmark consultations with the medical Data from the journals for one year from Radio Medical Denmark consultations with the medical responsible officers on passenger ferries was analysed retrospectively. Results: Two hundred and fourteen RM records, 73% among passenger and 27% among crewmember Two hundred and fourteen RM records, 73% among passenger and 27% among crewmember patients were analysed. Passenger patients were generally older and more serious ill than patients among the crew. A high number of potential and life-threatening medical conditions, e.g. angina pectoris was seen among the passengers and nine of these were evacuated by helicopter. Sixty-three percent (n=135) of the calls related to pain complaints and more than half of these were severe or of considerable pain strength. Only paracetamol and opioids were in the medicine chest. 135 (63%) of the calls were caused by pain of which 72 (53 %) was of severe or considerable pain strength. Nociceptive pain was seen in 77 patients; half of these from injuries, the others from infections, otalgia, tooth pain or other complaints. 34 of the nociceptive pain patients had considerable or severe pain strength. Visceral pain from the inner organs occurred in 49 patients and 31 of these had considerable or severe pain. In generally they were very ill and most of them had pain in the heart. The neurogenic pain types were of the central type such as migraine, meningitis pain or other types of headaches. For treatment of pain mainly paracetamol, NSAIDs and opioids was used. Paracetamol was offered to all with pain without any registration. Among the patients with nociceptive pain 4 were treated with NSAIDs and one with morphine. The NSAID drugs were supplied from the other passengers. Among the patients with visceral pain 1 was treated with NSAID and 22 with opioids. Of the 23 patients treated with opioids, 19 had sublingual Buprenorphine, 3 morphine injections and 1 used his personal codeine tablets. No problems were reported from resorption of the Buprenorphine resoriblets, which therefore seemed to work well. At least 77 patients would have benefited from use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Conclusions: The paramedical assistance and the medicine chest content were considered insufficient in The paramedical assistance and the medicine chest content were considered insufficient in several cases. Passengers and crewmembers with chronic diseases should be thoroughly prepared and advised before their travels.
Telemedicine, Radio Medical, Passenger Ferries
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9th International Symposium on Maritime Health, 2007