The experience of the Canary Emergency Service in the volcanic crisis, at the XIII Congress of the Society of Emergency Medicine

The Canary Emergency Service (SUC), attached to the Health Department of the Government of the Canary Islands, has participated this weekend in the XIII Congress of the Canary Society of Emergency and Emergency Medicine (SEMES-Canarias), held in Lanzarote, exposing his experience in the volcanic crisis and in health care for migrants arriving on the Canary coast, indicates the aforementioned regional department in a press release.

The SUC, he explains, is part of the health group in the emergency plans of the Canary Islands and has a Contingency Plan (Placon) to provide a rapid and adequate response to catastrophe situations.

The volcanic crisis, she points out, was the focus of the intervention by Marcela Posca, head of the SUC’s Operational Coordination Unit and Transport Desk in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, who explained how the SUC had to reorganize the service to deal with this extraordinary situation and continue caring for patients who required urgent care and transfer by ambulance. In this sense, Posca explained that the island’s resources were reinforced to have three advanced life support ambulances (ASVA) that could attend both the meeting points and shelters, as well as the transport of seriously ill patients by sea to the island of Tenerife, in addition to putting into operation another basic life support ambulance (ASVB) in the Fuencaliente area, which later changed its location to the new Las Manchas Local Clinic.

With regard to non-urgent medical transport (TSNU), the evacuation of dependent people to the shelter and the relocation of these people to other centers or family homes was assumed. In addition, non-urgent transport had to adapt its ambulance routes to be able to transfer patients who changed their address, in order not to interrupt their consultations or treatments.

During her speech, Marcela Posca also referred to the collaboration agreement with the College of Psychologists of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (COP), which allowed its activation from the day of the eruption. In this regard, she pointed out that, from the day after the eruption, the COP made available to those affected a free telephone number where up to 60 psychologists participated.

Attention to migrants fell on Carlos Quintana, nurse coordinator of the SUC in the province of Las Palmas, who focused his presentation on the action protocol of the Canary Emergency Service before arrival on the coasts of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.

This protocol is launched when the Emergency and Security Coordination Center (Cecoes) 1-1-2 of the Government of the Canary Islands receives an alert about the arrival of a small boat on the islands and communicates it to the SUC. From that moment on, the management of this incident is assumed directly by the health sector, in the figure of the coordinating nurse, who contacts the Spanish Red Cross and the Canary Health Service, to find out their availability of resources and health personnel, for the purpose of to measure the response of the SUC.

The allocation of resources is made based on the number of occupants that come on the boat and their status. After the first assessment by the medical device on the ground and the information received in the coordination room, the SUC can adjust the response according to the real medical needs of the incident.

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