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Medical Characteristics of Foreign Language Patients in Paramedic Care

Authors
  • Müller, Frank
  • Hummers, Eva
  • Noack, Eva Maria
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Aug 30, 2020
Volume
17
Issue
17
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17176306
PMID: 32872563
PMCID: PMC7503963
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Background: In this study, medical and socio-demographic characteristics of foreign language patients in prehospital emergency medical care are analyzed and compared with non-foreign language patients. Methods: We performed retrospective chart review of rescue operations in four emergency medical service stations in Northern Germany over seven months as part of the DICTUM Rescue study (DRKS00016719). We performed descriptive analyses including test statistics and used partial correlation to adjust for patients’ sex and age. Results: Patients with limited German proficiency were served in 2.2% of all 7494 covered rescue operations. On average, these patients were two decades younger than their German speaking counterparts. There were significantly more patients with limited German proficiency with gynecological and obstetric problems, especially births, as well as psychiatric disorders, especially suicide attempts. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the existing preventive programs for pregnant women and people at risk of suicide do not sufficiently reach patients with limited German proficiency. Additionally, giving birth and psychiatric breakdowns are exceptional and sensitive situations, both for patients and the paramedic staff, where the ability to communicate safely appears to be of enormous importance to enable safe treatment.

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