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Baby dies after pregnant woman is transferred to Lisbon due to lack of incubators in Faro

lisbon hospital

A pregnant woman was transferred from Faro Hospital to Amadora-Sintra due to lack of incubators in the Algarve hospital last week, and the situation ended with the premature baby passing away within minutes of delivery, which occurred the next morning, according to the Correio da Manhã.

An administrator working at the Algarve University Hospital Center (CHUA) denied any failure, claiming that “all normal procedures were followed in these cases”. “The doctors considered that she should be transferred because we had no incubators available. She was transferred within the referral network to the nearest hospital with availability, which was Amadora-Sintra”.

The Faro hospital unit has 10 incubators in its Neonatology unit. But, according to the hospital source, “there are times when incubators are full, so we have to send pregnant women through the referral network.”

In an official response to the questions, the Faro hospital reported that on that day, the hospital’s Neonatology service in Faro “was fully booked, so the pregnant woman was referred under appropriate security and monitoring conditions”, to Amadora-Sintra.

According to the Correio da Manhã, doctors thought that the pregnant woman had symptoms of preeclampsia, which put both mother and baby at risk, so they decided they would have to induce premature birth.

However, with the incubators at the Faro hospital fully occupied, the woman had to be transported by ambulance to the Amadora-Sintra hospital, 290 kilometers away.

Also according to the newspaper Correio da Manhã, the delivery occurred by caesarean section the following day, on the 3rd August, but the baby died.

PSD deputy Cristóvão Norte has argued in a statement sent to newsrooms that “the death of the baby has to be investigated”. The Algarve parliamentarian believes that “mothers and babies are at risk every day in the Algarve’. He went on to express anger at the Ministry of Health, ordering ‘the opening of an inquiry to ascertain responsibilities. The pregnant woman was waiting several hours for an ambulance, the service doesn’t have enough space or incubators, it’s all too bad to be true. Thus, they have to move the pregnant women far away, which in such cases increases the risk for mothers and babies exponentially. Several people, including myself, have warned of this. The Government has done nothing.”

“The Algarve suffers a hemorrhaged health system, which continues to worsen. These episodes are becoming more and more common, an unacceptable new normal, which is no worse because there are so many professionals who are working extremely hard”, concludes the deputy.

A month ago, on July 7th, another woman, 28 weeks pregnant, had to be moved from Portimão to Évora at dawn due to “lack of response in the Algarve units”. In this case, despite the hassles and risks, all went well.