Background: Emergency aeromedical transport (EAMT) refers to the handling of patients in emergency using available air transport vehicle(s) for safe and rapid transport to hospital, while providing emergency medical and nursing care in transit. EAMT is a specialty combining aeromedicine, emergency rescue, and clinical skills. Commissioned by the Department of Health, Executive Yuan, the Institute of Injury Prevention and Control of Taipei Medical University set up a National Aeromedical Approval Center (NAAC) in 2002. Over 1,000 patients have been evaluated and given transport from remote areas to major hospitals in Taiwan. Methods: This retrospective study, using data from January 2004 to December 2007, reviewed the reports of patients from Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, and analyzed the numbers and rates of EAMT, the regional characteristics, the seasonal diseases, and unusual incidences in air transport of aged persons to determine a basis for future research. Results: From 2004 to 2007, 733 adult patients were transported by EAMT under NAAC; most were transferred to major medical centers. In the elderly, the proportion of females was 36.5% compared with 23.2% in the non-elderly. Older patients of all areas accounted for 39.8%, 43.9%, 48.1% and 55.9% of patients each year. More elderly were transported during cold seasons (fall, winter) and more young patients were transported during warm seasons (spring, summer). Trauma accounted for 40.7% of young patients, 33.9% of middle-aged patients, and only 14.3% of old patients, but the frequency of transporting aged trauma patients was still higher than that of non-aged patients. Cardiology, neurology, and neurosurgery accounted for most transported cases in all areas. Conclusion: The growth of population in Penghu and Matsu, with the exception of Kinmen, slowed down, but mean age increased. According to increased demand for transport in Penghu, we also suggest the need for a more independent medical system for further management.
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