SEOUL, June 16 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Fire Agency (NFA) has developed a long-term plan in response to a series of cases where emergency patients failed to reach the hospital in time.
According to the NFA, ambulances took over an hour to reach the nearest hospital from the accident site in 16,939 cases last year, which is four times more than in 2019.
In 414 cases last year, ambulances were delayed for over three hours, which is 19 times more than in 2019.
The NFA stated that these delays were primarily caused by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) making calls to medical centers to determine whether the patient, who might have had COVID-19, could receive medical treatment.
There is also a possibility that hospitals might reject patients due to a shortage of doctors working at emergency clinics.
The NFA intends to develop new medical evacuation guidelines customized to the requirements of each region, in collaboration with local governments, fire departments, and emergency medical centers.
Additionally, the agency plans to implement an “emergency team patient classification system” this year, aligning it with the classification standards used by medical centers.
This measure will enable the appropriate distribution of tasks among medical agencies based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms and help prevent overcrowding in major emergency medical clinics.
The agency will also establish real-time synchronization between the emergency team’s terminal and the hospital’s electronic system to reduce the number of phone calls EMTs need to make to local medical centers.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)