“If that can allow them to rest a little …” A French medical team to reinforce Portugal in the face of Covid-19

Hard hit by the third wave of Covid-19, Portugal has seen its resuscitation services saturate in recent weeks. The pandemic has killed more than 15,400 people in the country so far, making it the 9th worst-hit European country. In order to relieve the Portuguese health services, France has proposed the reinforcement of a medical team, which arrived on Sunday February 14 and who will stay there for two weeks.

Four caregivers, nurses, anesthetists and doctor: the French team was welcomed at Garcia de Orta hospital, in Almada, in the suburbs of Lisbon, by the Deputy Secretary of State for Health in person. “I saw that there were a very large number of Covid patients in Portugal and I said to myself ‘if necessary, I am available’,“relates Bérangère Nion, emergency doctor in Dunkirk and volunteer for this mission.

The doctor says she is ready to work at night and ensure that her Portuguese colleagues “can go home, sleep. If it will allow them to rest a little … “

“We’re here to relieve them.”

Dr Bérangère Nion

to franceinfo

In the intensive care unit of the hospital Garcia de Orta, 25 of the 36 beds are currently occupied by Covid patients. “We will work in an intensive care unit, take care of Covid patients who have respiratory assistance“, specifies Sandra Fleury, nurse within the fire department in Lyon, who speaks fluent Portuguese.

La Lyonnaise is the only four nurses and caregivers who arrived from France to speak the language. For the other three, this barrier will clearly be the main difficulty. “We don’t want to make mistakes, especially with prescriptions“, explains Sandrine Kaumont, nurse anesthetist in Foix, in Ariège.”But afterwards, the work is exactly the same, we have intubated patients, we know how to do“, she adds.

In terms of health, the first impressions of French caregivers are positive, both in terms of material. They describe a staff exhausted but who respond present despite the fatigue of the days and nights spent on deck. For the rest, “Everything is closed“, explains Bérangère Nion. Portugal has, in fact, extended its confinement until March 1.”We only do a hotel-hospital, we’ll have to come back on vacation later“, smiles the Dunkirk doctor.

French caregivers to fight Covid-19 in Portugal: report by Sébastien Baer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *