Vol 70, No 3 (2019)
Original article
Published online: 2019-10-03

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Epidemiology of physician interventions in maritime environment by the Marseille Fire Brigade (BMPM) from 2005 to 2017

Jean-Paul Boudsocq12, Guillaume Bellec12, Coralie Gueho12, Hugo Lenglet12, Franck Peduzzi12
Pubmed: 31617939
IMH 2019;70(3):158-166.


Background: Marseille is the second largest city in France. The Marseille Fire Brigade (BMPM) is the largest unity of the French Navy. This organization is in charge of rescue operations and medical intervention in the Marseille area. The aim of the study was to describe the epidemiology of interventions that required a physician to be present that were performed by the BMPM between the years of 2005 to 2017. 

Materials and methods: The statistical office database of the BMPM and the medical interventions forms (FIM) acquired from the BMPM medical ambulances (SMUR) archives were analysed from the years 2005 to 2017. 

Results: The BMPM performed a total of 2,375 interventions in the maritime environment between 2005 and 2017. A physician was necessary for intervention a total of 186 times. The extraction and analysis reports of 107 medical intervention forms found the BMPM archives revealed a significant number of interventions (67%) in the southern bay of Marseille and Frioul, specifically from the If and Planier islands. The majority of interventions (77%) took place within the 300m band. The most common cause of medical intervention was due to an accidental fall into the water, followed by boating (sailing and motor), and swimming. Drowning was the most common cause of mortality, consisting of 34% of all interventions. Diving accidents represented 14% of interventions. Trauma affected 22% of the study population and 83% of trauma patients were transported to the hospital under the supervision of a physician. 

Conclusions: Potential areas for improvement in the management of drowning victims are the use of Szpilman’s classification, sonography, and non-invasive ventilation. A recertification course for medical education training of BMPM doctors on the management of diving accidents could help to optimize the information recorded on FIM. Accident prevention training should be continued and reinforced when it comes to maritime activities. 

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