C.I.R.M. (TMAS)

Telemedical assistance at sea in the time of COVID-19 pandemic

Telemedical assistance at sea in the time of COVID-19 pandemic

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the aetiological factor of COVID-19 infection, poses problems in providing medical assistance at sea. Ships are in an isolated environment, and most of the merchant ships do not carry medical personnel or medical supplies. Tele- medicine offers a real possibility to provide reasonable quality medical assistance to seagoing vessels. The fact that ships may touch ports in affected areas, the difficulties for seafarers to be assisted ashore due to quarantine measures and the crews’ lack of turnover make medical assistance at sea difficult. This study has compared maritime telemedical assistance data before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to propose prevention measures.

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