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Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 2001 Jan;48(1):56-64.

[Utilization of emergency ambulances in Yokohoma City, Japan].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Public Health, Yokohama City University, School of Medicine.



In recent years, the annual number of emergency ambulance (EA) calls has increased in Yokohama city, Japan. A questionnaire study was carried out to describe behavioral features of the users in Yokohama city, and to investigate their relationship with the increase in EA utilization.


We randomly recruited 2,910 citizens, aged 15 years or older, for the questionnaire study and a total of 2,294 (78.8%) replied. The questionnaire included questions about their demographic characteristics, history of EA use, existence of family doctors, and knowledge of emergency medical services and emergency medical information centers. Additionally, respondents who had used EA previously were asked about their reasons for this.


A total of 513 (22.4%) respondents answered that they had used EA previously. A slightly higher rate of EA use was shown among elderly people, 65 years old or over (a rate of 26.2%). The major reason for requesting EA use was the urgency of the disease or the injury (61.8%). 182 respondents answered that they requested EA as a means of transportation. However, most of them also mentioned that the urgency of the disease or the injury was one of the reasons for their request. This survey showed no evidence that the citizens of Yokohama have used EA improperly. Elderly people, among whom the annual number of EA uses has increased rapidly over the years, tended to employ EA in a way more in line with regulations than other generations.


This study suggested that the basic reason for the increase of EA utilization in Yokohama city was not due to inappropriate demand but to the aging of the population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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