Ambulance crews plead for more resources as patients die due to lack of availability
The Union of Pre-Hospital Emergency Technicians (STEPH) have denounced several cases of delays in sending ambulances this week, some with delays of more than two hours and one of which resulted in the patients death.
For this particular case in Faro, which involved a suicide attempt, INEM “could not find an ambulance available to send to the scene” in time to help the patient.
In a statement, STEPH said “For a case with this degree of priority, effectively threatening life, an Emergency and Resuscitation Medical Vehicle was only sent to the scene an hour and forty-five minutes after the initial call”, meaning death was unfortunately declared on the spot.
The president of STEPH, Rui Lázaro, told news agencies that among the complaints received is a case in Olhão, where a 60-year-old woman with suspected cerebrovascular accident (CVA) waited more than two and a half hours for an ambulance to be sent. He also pointed out other cases, such as that of a 74 year old man, in Tavira, with a suspected stroke, who waited 52 minutes for an ambulance to be available to help him.
These incidents all occured on Wednesday, the day STEPH were heard at the Parliamentary Health Committee meeting, where it spoke of the lack of resources, expressing concern about the fact that in April there was already a high number of ambulances unavailable due to lack of professionals, a situation that normally happens only in the summer period.
The union president said that this month the forecast was of “more than 50% of ambulances unavailable”.
As he explained, last year this level of crisis only occurred during the summer (June, July, August and September), adding: "If in April the scenario is like this, in two or three months we will be much worse".
The STEPH union says that the cases reported to it on Wednesday are of "extremely seriousness" and points to the "inefficiency of a service that INEM should guarantee citizens", even talking about "possible serious negligence in the emergency medical assistance”.
The union president says that he will forward the complaints to the competent authorities, including the Minister of Health.
Albufeira: Young couple arrested for stabbing 19 year old girl to death
The Police have arrested a 20 year old man and a 21 year old woman, on suspicion of the death of a 19 year old girl outside a nightlife establishment in Albufeira, early on Sunday morning.
The alert was given at 6:30 am and the victim was still alive when firefighters arrived, but emergency medical services declared the young woman dead at around 7:30 am.
It is rumoured that the female arrested is the perpetrator of this crime.
After investigation, “relevant evidence was collected and a knife recovered, which led to the arrest of the suspected perpetrators", said the police statement.
Shockingly, a video of what is thought to be this young woman being attacked was circulated on social media networks shortly after the event. The 22-second video shows attacks on a young woman outside a bar on Rua da Oura in Albufeira, an area known for its intense nightlife. In the final part of the video, a girl can be seen falling to the ground, but it is not known if she is the fatal victim. However, it seems likely.
According to a police source, after investigations and interviews with onlookers, suspicions are that it was a “disagreement between kids” at the end of the “night”.
The victim and the suspects are all of Portuguese nationality.
6 Algarve municipalities on maximum fire alert until the end of this week
The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) predicts a very high fire danger across 6 Algarve municipalities, at least until the end of this week.
Seventeen municipalities in the districts of Faro, Portalegre, Santarém and Castelo Branco are at the maximum danger of rural fire, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA).
The Algarve municipalities affected are Monchique, Portimão, Silves, Loulé, São Brás and Tavira, at maximum danger level of fire.
The IPMA also placed more than 50 municipalities throughout Faro, Beja, Évora, Portalegre, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Leiria, Coimbra, Guarda Viseu, Vila Real and Bragança at very high risk of fire, the next level down from maximum danger.
These high risks of fire are predicted at least until the end of the week.
Calculations are obtained from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours.
Missing young paddle-boarder found alive after 20 hours adrift at sea
The 17 year old girl who had been missing since Saturday evening was found alive this Sunday afternoon, after spending 20 hours adrift at sea.
The young woman was on a paddle board, which was blown out to sea by the wind at around 8 pm on Saturday, preventing her from returning to the beach.
“The father even tried and jumped into the water, but unfortunately he couldn't grab it, he didn't have the physical capacity to reach the board”, said local Commander of the Maritime Police of Vila Real de Santo António and Tavira, Commander João Afonso Martins, who coordinated the searches for the young woman.
She was found early yesterday evening by the merchant ship MSC Reef, which was heading to the port of Tangier, in Morocco, still on top of her paddle board, about 25 miles south of Vila Real de Santo António.
The young woman is currently at Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA), with her mother.
Clinical Director Horácio Guerreiro said “after so long without food, exposed to the sun and with stress, the girl is naturally very tired and has some muscle and skin pain, but she has no serious injuries. She is in a stable condition, and it is hoped she will be discharged within 24 to 48 hours.
We wish her a speedy recovery!