Faro Hospital (Photo: Sara Alves)

Two deaths at Faro Hospital spark further controversy; devastated families want answers

These latest deaths follow this month’s morgue mix-up at Faro Hospital, which saw a body being mistakenly cremated

Devastated families are questioning whether Faro Hospital – which earlier this month made headlines over a morgue mix-up which saw the wrong body being cremated – did “everything it could” to prevent the deaths of two men last week.

The first case involves a 36-year-old man from São Bartolomeu de Messines who visited the hospital last Tuesday (November 8) after experiencing “trouble breathing and pain in his back”.

It is reported the man underwent a series of medical exams before being told he could go home. However, he received a call from doctors while he was in the ambulance on his way home, telling him that he had to return to the hospital.

On the way back to the hospital, the man reportedly suffered a heart attack and died.

The victim’s mother, Ana dos Santos, told TVI: “At 10pm, police agents came here to tell me he had died. I couldn’t believe it. I had talked to him at 8pm, he told me that he was on his way home in the ambulance, but that his doctors told him to go back, and he didn’t know why.”

The channel reports that doctors at Faro Hospital only realised that something was wrong after double-checking the man’s medical exam results.

Despite the tragic outcome, TVI says the hospital’s administration guaranteed that “all the necessary exams and treatments” were carried out.

The second death was of a 63-year-old man, who was found dead on Wednesday (November 9) in one of the toilets at Faro Hospital after being “left unattended on a stretcher” in the A&E unit, it is reported.

Vítor Rosa had sought medical care at the hospital’s A&E unit after passing out three times at home. He is said to have entered the hospital’s care at 2pm, having waited four hours to carry out the necessary exams.

Speaking to Correio da Manhã tabloid, his daughter Carina Rosa said: “He was in a very fragile state and was left on a stretcher up against the wall, unattended.”

While Vítor Rosa waited for his exams, his wife and daughter were told they could not wait beside him – an order his family ultimately disregarded because they wanted to be sure he was okay. They had to leave for around 40 minutes, having returned at around 10pm to find his stretcher abandoned.

“My mother was in a panic, calling out for my father. Then someone checked the toilet to found him there. They tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late,” she said.

“We told the staff that he could not be left alone because he could not see without his contact lenses on,” the daughter said, adding that they were told by the hospital that he died of a “malignant cardiac arrhythmia”.

These latest deaths follow this month’s morgue mix-up at Faro Hospital, which saw a body being mistakenly cremated. The Algarve University Hospital Centre (CHUA) administration board has offered to resign, while Portugal’s Health Minister says he awaits the results of the several inquiries launched before making a decision.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com