TRANSPORTING suspected Ebola patients by ground from Almeria to Sevilla is not feasible and would be counter-productive, warned Spanish nurses.
On Monday (October 21) nurses from the Public Health Emergency Service (EPES) 061 in Almeria urged the Junta to refrain from sending all potential Ebola cases to Hospital Virgen del Rocio in Sevilla.
Taking the patients from Almeria to Sevilla by ground is implausible for emergency technicians and completely counter-productive for the patient, said Jose Miguel Garrido Molina, Union Delegate of Comisiones Obreras – largest trade union in Spain – talking to ideal.es.
As stated by Molina, it would take the emergency technicians between eight and ten hours to get the patient to Seville, they would have to stop four different times to change their protective suits (in Guadix, Loja, Osuna and Virgen del Rocio) and the entire journey would put the patient under excessive physical and psychological stress.
The journey would also increase the risk of contagion and destabilise the patient, said nurses.
Furthermore, it entails certain technical difficulties, including the potential dehydration of the emergency technicians. During a drill conducted weeks ago, their weight dropped two kilograms because of excessive sweating, said Garrido. “We were exhausted when we got there and it was just 100 kilometres. Imagine what would happen in an 8-hour journey,” he said.
According to Garrido, adapting a mobile intensive care ambulance – known in Spain as UVI movil – for Ebola patients is risky. “The ambulance is completely sealed so the temperature increases exponentially. If you add that to the fact that the patient is running a fever, it could do irreparable damage to his or her health.”
“We are not asking for a raise. We just want to continue offering people a quality service and our experience tells us that this protocol violates all recommendations regarding nurses’ exposure to the virus and it puts the patient in jeopardy,” he warned.
061 Almeria sent a document to the Junta de Andalucia detailing the risks involved in transporting a patient by ground from Almeria to Seville and recommend it be done by air.