Speaking to Lusa, as part of the ordinance published today in Diário da República, the director of the Intensive Medicine Service of the Hospital de São João, Artur Paiva, said today that the project aims to "train" that service.

“There was a knowledge by the central structures that the number of beds with which we left for the [pandemic] crisis of covid-19 in intensive care was lower than it should be”, he said, adding that the work is part of the “project national global level of training in critical care medicine”.

“Three thousand patients pass through the Intensive Medicine Service of Hospital de São João, in Porto”, said the clinician, adding that the project will allow “a slight increase in the number of beds”, from 70 to 78.

In addition to the 12% increase in the number of beds, the training works will also make it possible to “double the number of isolation rooms in intensive care units”, from nine to 18.

“Having already very positive results, an ICU mortality of 11% and an overall hospital mortality of 16%, [the project] will allow for better patient care”, he highlighted.

In isolation rooms, the improvements made will also allow "modeling the environmental pressure" inside, enabling the creation of "positive pressure to prevent contaminants that exist in the room's air from being carried outside", such as "negative pressure and avoid in certain pathologies that the microorganisms that cause disease leave the room”.

“It is important in covid-19, and it was and continues to be important for other pathologies such as flu and tuberculosis”, he pointed out.

The director of the Intensive Care Medicine Service also said that the improvements will make it possible to mitigate "a significant problem", namely, infections that are acquired by patients in that hospital service.

“For a patient where there is a large investment in intensive care, it makes no sense to acquire an infection in the hospital. Then there is an ability to prevent the transmission of infections from one patient to another and even to professionals, increasing safety”, he added.

With an investment of close to six million euros, the project will last about six months and will take place in two phases, in the first one it will act "in an area that was not intensive care and will become" and, in a second phase, “acting in the improvement of the area that was already intensive care”.

“In a project that we hope will be concluded by the beginning of next year”, added Artur Paiva.