Historically, practising medicine has always been a combination of skills for diagnosis and commencing treatment based on patients’ signs and symptoms. As one would expect, doing so in an austere environment is even more challenging where the clinical scenarios and patterns of illness and injury vary widely, and the access to medical equipment and qualified healthcare personnel are limited or even lacking. Norway is an important supplier of oil and gas to the global market and employs approximately 21,000 people running between 80 and 90 oil installations. These platforms and ships are spread along the Norwegian continental shelf and have limited medical and logistic support. Operating in such remote locations and challenging climatic environments requires a well-functioning health service.
Today, this remote medical practice is run by offshore nurses in hospital units onboard the installations and search-and-rescue (SAR) personnel working as part of medical evacuation (medevac) teams onboard helicopters. The nurses, often working alone, are trained to carry out focused clinical examinations, perform certain medical tests, including recording vitals and electrocardiograms (ECGs), and provide simple blood and urine tests (e.g., haemoglobin, CRP, glucose). The nurse also has the opportunity to consult with a physician onshore, either by phone or videoconference. However, this remote offshore healthcare service is in many cases insufficient for determining a final diagnosis. Whereas patients hospitalized onshore are referred for further medical imaging, such as X-ray, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound (US), to determine their diagnosis, this equipment has not, to date, been available for offshore workers. An online essay writing service offers an original medical content crafted by our professional essay writers.
The result is an extended use of medevacs with SAR helicopters to bring the patients off the platforms and admit them to onshore hospitals. This process is a costly affair and not without risks, especially in challenging weather conditions. It can take several hours from alerting the SAR team until the patient reaches definitive care, or in the worst-case scenario, no evacuation is possible due to restricted flying conditions. Therefore, there is a need for extended medical practice with provision of more advanced diagnostic and management advice via telecommunication. A solution could be to connect US machines to the already installed videoconference units (medical units) found onboard most oil installations. The development of lightweight, battery-powered, and easily transportable devices has made US in the field (i.e., outside hospitals) possible in contrast to bulkier and power-demanding X-ray machines and CT and MRI scanners. Persuasive speech topics should be acute and of real interest for the wide audience so these medical content is presented in that particular format.
Continued improvement in both US and telecommunication technology may open opportunities for improved clinical decision-making. US imaging can be obtained instantly and correlated to the patient’s presenting signs and symptoms and repeated if the condition changes. Combining the offshore nurses’ physical examination with a focused goal-directed US scan [i.e., point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS)] can confirm and refute life-threatening diagnoses, thereby assisting the onshore physicians in the initial evaluation and management of critically ill and injured patients. However, the acquisition and interpretation of PoCUS examinations are highly user-dependent.