The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide – External Assistance

The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide – Chapter 13 – External Assistance

This is available by radio telegraphy, or by direct contact with the doctor by radio telephony from a number of ports in all parts of the world. Details of world wide services can be found in the Admiralty List of Radio Signals (ARLS) Vol 1. Satellite telecommunications using facsimile and voice have facilitated this direct contact. Additionally, it may, on occasion, be obtained from other ships in the vicinity who have a doctor on board. In either instance it is better if the exchange of information is in a language common to both parties. Coded messages are a frequent source of misunderstanding and should be avoided as far as possible. However, the medical section of the International Code of Signals should be used whenever appropriate. Telemedicine systems are in development, exploiting digital image handling and telecommunications technology. As yet they are experimental, expensive and of limited benefit, however, in the near future robust, well supported, effective and affordable systems will emerge.

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