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Canary Emergency Service updates its fleet as calls increase again 


The Canary Emergency Service (SUC), under the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, increased its activity in 2017 by 3.9 per cent and served about 300,000 people.

The service managed a daily average of 869 requests for urgent health care.

During 2017, 298,533 people needed urgent medical assistance or transfer, 3.6 per cent more than the previous year.

The activity increased by 3.9 per cent, with a total of 317,004 demands, which meant attending a daily average of 869. Of these, more than 37 per cent were considered health emergencies, that is, situations with imminent danger to their lives.

Of the total demands, 22 per cent were resolved through medical consultancy, that is, through telephone counselling by the coordinating doctors of the SUC from the two operational rooms of the 1-1-2 of the Canary Islands Government. The remaining 78 per cent needed the mobilisation of some type of mobile health resource.

Regarding the type of incidents that generated the mobilisation of resources, 81.8 per cent was related to the care of patients who needed urgent health care for cases of common disease, while almost 18.2 per cent were accidents.

For the adequate management of these demands, the SUC made 255,000 activations of mobile resources, a daily average of almost 700. Basic life support ambulances accounted for the largest number of services, with almost 81 per cent of them, which means that they made 565 daily services in different points of the Canary Islands. It was followed by medical ambulances, which were activated in 17,939 occasions, and sanitarised ambulances, also of advanced life support, in 17,545 cases.

The air resources, helicopters and medicalised plane were activated on 1,693 occasions for assistance and transfer of patients who needed specialised assistance in flight between islands or, in the case of the plane, also to hospitals in other Spanish cities.

The vehicles for health coordination, rapid intervention (VIR) and primary care medical assistance accumulated 11,424 activations of resources.

The main destinations of the people served who needed a transfer to a health centre were public hospitals, with 57.2 per cent, and primary care centres, with 18 per cent.

Due to the gradual increase in activity that has been registered in recent years, the Ministry of Health reinforced in 2017 the mobile resources network, in accordance with the Canarias Health Emergency Plan (PLUSCAN), in order to offer a higher quality of care for citizens. For this reason, four new medicalised ambulances have been launched in the islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, El Hierro and La Gomera and another one of basic life support in La Palma, which allowed the transfer of the sanitarised ambulance to the capital of the Island.

To this is added the renewal of the two medicalised helicopters of the SUC, which has meant an important advance in the management of the extrahospital air emergencies. These devices have greater flight autonomy, a wider assistance cabin and incorporate the latest in medical air equipment.