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J Telemed Telecare. 1996;2(3):125-31.

Organization and activities of the International Radio Medical Centre (CIRM).

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Centro Internazionale Radio Medico (CIRM), Rome, Italy.


The International Radio Medical Centre (CIRM) was founded in 1935, to provide free medical assistance by radio to ships with no doctor on board and others who cannot be reached by a doctor. In 1950 CIRM was established as a non-profit-making foundation and has benefited since 1957 from an annual contribution from the Italian government. The results achieved by the Centre over 61 years include medical assistance to 42,935 patients on board ships (as well as on small islands and aircraft), with 375,264 medical messages received and transmitted. CIRM is organized into a medical service, a telecommunications service and a studies section. The 24-h continuous medical service is provided by doctors at the CIRM headquarters. The doctor on duty gives instructions for managing the case. If necessary the medical service will coordinate the patient's hospitalization at the nearest port with suitable medical facilities or arrange the patient's transfer to another ship with a doctor on board, or an airlift. The telecommunications service receives requests for assistance, locates the ship or whoever made the request, passes the call to the doctor on duty, and relays the doctor's response to those requesting assistance. The studies section, established in 1957-58, researches occupational pathologies of sailors and contributes to their prevention. This provides a scientific basis for improving medical assistance to sailors at sea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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