INEM emergency calls soar in recent days alongside temperatures

in News · 09-08-2018 10:58:00 · 0 Comments
INEM emergency calls soar in recent days alongside temperatures

The number of people calling the INEM medical emergency line due to medical emergencies “increased substantially” in recent days, having registered a 20 percent increase, which was largely related to the recent heatwave.

Queried by Lusa News Agency, the INEM medical institutewas asked whether there had been an increase in calls in recent days and if it was possible to relate them to the intense heat of late.
An official source of the National Institute of Medical Emergencies (INEM) explained that the demand for emergency medical services had increased by 20 percent in calls made to the Urgent Patient Orientation Centres (CODU), mainly due to “the worsening of situations of chronic illness”.
According to INEM, the “very substantial” increase in the number of emergency calls and the consequent activation of means is “justified by the heatwave verified in recent days”.
The increase corresponded to “some significant” 764 more calls per day between Wednesday and Sunday, compared with the same period last year.
The increase in the number of calls had a “natural impact” on the functioning of the CODUs, the source told Lusa, despite the “reinforcement of operations”.

On Tuesday, the Protection and Relief Association (APROSOC) said in a statement that during the early hours, at 2:30am, around 18 calls were on hold and that the number of calls waiting to be called back was about 90.
The INEM source told Lusa that “naturally, waiting times for calls are higher due to the very significant increase in the demand for emergency medical services”.
And, he stressed, “no call goes unanswered”, because the call-back system allows calls that were disconnected or dropped before they were answered to be retrieved, with professionals having the specific function of making those calls back.
According to INEM, the CODU screening system “allows a quick assessment of the clinical situation of the victims” and establishes priorities in sending medical emergency, so despite the increase in activity “it has been possible to maintain a response to the various situations”.
“INEM has handled close to 5,000 emergency calls a day, which is the result of the increase in the number of emergency calls already mentioned, and repudiates publications in some forums whose sole purpose is to provoke anxiety and alarm among the Portuguese population”, the source slammed.
Citizens, the source continued, “can and should trust INEM and the other institutions” that make up the Integrated Medical Emergency System.
The INEM source also underlined that the 112 number should only be used in emergency situations, and that situations related to health counselling should contact the National Health Service Contact Centre, SNS24, through the number 808 24 24 24.


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