Everyday citizens to be involved in Loulé’s pioneering defibrillator network
Everyday citizens are to be involved the pioneering defibrillator network, due to launched in Loulé this summer.
Emergency services are to be offered up to 60 defibrillators as of July, to be sighted at key locations “from the sea to the rural interior”.
Said one of the many cardio-experts behind the plan, the objective is to ‘save more lives’ bearing in mind that timing is always crucial.
Eight minutes after a heart stops “there is no longer anything to be done, because the brain cannot survive any longer without an adequate supply of oxygen”.
The initiative, forged between the Algarve Biomedical Centre, the University of the Algarve and the region’s State hospitals, will see these life-saving devices supplied to Civil Protection, firefighters, INEM emergency personnel and maritime police – with emphasis not only on areas with large concentrations of people but also ‘isolated parts of the borough, where help can take longest to arrive’.
Before the network is launched, training sessions will be held (in June) to ensure people, particularly in far-flung corners of the borough, know how to operate these life-saving machines.
Said Nuno Marques, president of the Algarve Biomedical Centre’s executive council: “On a national level this is the only plan that has such a wide area of cover, involving all (emergency response) authorities”.
The system uses a geo-localisation on mobile phones to detect patients in articulation with INEM which will activate trained members of the public in the proximities so that they can swing into action before official help arrives.
Paulo Morgado, president of the regional health administration explains: “These machines are very easy to use. When you apply them to a person’s body, the machine makes its own diagnosis, applying shock, or not, at the right time”.
The initiative involves an investment of around 100,000 euros and will be backed by two centres in the borough, supporting the whole ‘Safe Heart’ ethos.