BARLAVENTO HOSPITAL has opened a new cardiac and stroke unit, which will deal with around 350 emergency situations in the western Algarve each year, as part of the national programme to control and prevent cardiovascular illnesses.
This new unit, along with the existing unit at Faro hospital, will help the Algarve to respond more quickly and efficiently to patients who suffer strokes and heart attacks.
Rui Lourenço, President of the Regional Health Authority, said: “We had patients who were dying needlessly, but now we can reduce the mortality rate and consequences of these illnesses.”
When people telephone the emergency number, 112, describing symptoms of a heart attack, including lack of strength in one arm and difficulty in speaking, the emergency services will now direct them to one of the two existing cardiac and stroke units in the Algarve.
Once there, the patient will immediately be seen by a team of specialists in order to reduce the risk of mortality. A preliminary observation will be carried out by an intern and neurologist before other scans.
Patients will be accompanied throughout the illness and recovery period by neurologists, nurses, psychiatrists, doctors and social workers.
Paula Viana, a spokesman from Barlavento hospital, said: “It is not just a physical space but a whole integrated approach” adding, “There is a continuous process from the moment a patient enters the unit until one year after the illness.”
Each year, there are between 1,100 and 1,300 new cases of heart attacks and strokes in the Algarve, with 350 of those being in the western Algarve.
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