The 24-hour Emergency Department

The 24-hour Emergency Department

24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Emergency Department of the Hospital da Luz Lisboa provides AdultPediatric andObstetric medical and surgical care.

The need for emergency medical attention is a stressful event for most people. If you are also a foreigner in the country, this stress may be augmented by an uncertainly for how hospitals work in Portugal, challenges in communication, cultural differences, and lack of a local personal support system.

The Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa regularly receives foreign clients and understands the challenges and fears they face upon arrival to the hospital. We have a team of multilingual clinicians and administrative staff, as well as access to additional language services and tools, ready to support the foreign client whenever they appear, 24 hours a day, everyday.

The Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa includes differentiated clinical services with advanced technological support for the care of patients in the most serious conditions. The clinical staff of the Emergency Department includes doctors specialized in the areas of General Practice and Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Gynecology/Obstetrics, and are supported by a highly skilled team of nurses and technicians 24 hours a day. Emergency Department physicians also have access to additional medical specialities available in the hospital, and are supported by the Intensive Care Unit, the Clinical Analysis Laboratory and the Imaging Center.

Children are provided with separate waiting areas as well as consultation and observation rooms. These areas are all decorated with younger patients in mind, including toys and TVs with children's programming, to help them feel more at ease. Furthermore, the Emergency Department is fully prepared to manage all emergency obstetric situations. The Childbirth Ward and Neonatology are always prepared for carrying out unscheduled childbirths and monitoring of newborn babies.

The Emergency Department has a seperate exterior access to the Hospital, located alongside the Main Entrance on Level 0. Access via the car park is gained through lift group A.

  • What is the Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa?

    The Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa provides medical and surgical care, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is particularly dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of urgent or emergency situations of children and adults, including pregnant women.

  • What resources are available in the Emergency Department?

    The Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa has all the physical, technological and human resources required to provide excellent medical and surgical care. The physical space of Emergency Department includes common usage areas, separate waiting and treatment areas for children and for adults, all equipped for the provision of a differentiated service. 

    Common clinical areas include a reanimation room with two beds, a minor surgery room, a casting room for broken bones and a treatment room. In addition, there are common areas for patient access and administrative services. The spaces specifically set aside for children include a waiting area, four consultation rooms, a treatment room, a rapid cooling room and an observation room with four beds (including two prepared for isolation) for short term recovery stays. The spaces specifically set aside for adults include a waiting area, five consultation rooms, a treatment room and an observation room with six beds (including one prepared for isolation). Emergent medical care of pregnant women is provided in a specific area alongside the childbirth ward. 

    The Emergency Department is supported by the following services and units of Hospital da Luz Lisboa: Childbirth Ward, Operating Block, Imaging Center, Inpatient Care Units, Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Blood Service (Immunohemotherapy), Intensive Care Unit, Neonatology Unit.

    The human resources available in the Emergency Department include doctors (see Clinical Staff of Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz), nursing staff, specialized technicians, and administrative employees.

  • Who are the clinical staff of the Emergency Department?

    Initial assessment and medical care for children, pregnant women and adults is provided by doctors specialized in Pediatrics, Gynecology-Obstetrics and General Practice and Family Medicine. Specialists in Anesthesiology, Neonatology, Intensive Medicine and Internal Medicine are also available 24 hours a day at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa, should their intervention be required. In addition, specialists from other areas at the Hospital da Luz (see Departments and Service Lines) may be contacted based on recommendations from the initial treating physicians. The organization of these services allows for a rapid response to any urgent conditions that arrives to the Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa.

  • How does the Emergency Department operate at Hospital da Luz Lisboa?

    The Emergency Department has its own exterior access at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa at the Main Entrance on Level 0. Access via the car park to the Emergency Department is gained through lift group A.

    Upon arrival to the Emergency Department, patients or their accompanying persons should present an identification document and insurance card (if a beneficiary of an entity with which the Hospital da Luz has an agreement) to staff at the registration desk. Following registration, patients are referred to the appropriate waiting area (children, adults or pregnant women) until they are received by the triage nurse.  The triage nurse will then screen the patient for the physician and determine the level of clinical urgency of the case in accordance with established emergency care protocols. Among the questions patients or their family will be asked are the circumstances and details relating to the occurrence of the problem, medications being taken, allergy information and medical history.

    Patients are then seen by a physician from Pediatrics, General Practice and Family Medicine or Gynecology-Obstetrics. If required, these physicians may request an additional consult of a specialist physician (example: ophthalmology, orthopedic) from another department of the hospital. Diagnostic exams and analysis may be ordered from the Clinical Pathology Laboratory and by the Imaging Center, situated next to the Emergency Department. Test results are made available in an expedited fashion to the treating physician. Specialists may then be consulted, called to the hospital, or participate in the evaluation of the patient data via other communication methods.

    Some patients may be directed to the Observation Room, where they will receive a bed so that their clinical status may be monitored and/or complete the treatment of the condition. This area is under the direct supervision of specialist physicians in internal medicine.

    The Emergency Department is also capable of meeting any need for surgical intervention or internment. The Hospital da Luz maintains a 24-hour presence of specialists in Anesthesiology, Neonatology and Gynecology-Obstetrics and the permanent support of the Childbirth Ward and Neonatology Unit, who see that all unscheduled childbirth situations are managed well at all times.

  • Situations when someone should seek help at the Emergency Department?

    The Emergency Department at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa is dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of emergency or urgent situations. For example, the following symptoms require urgent medical attention:

    • Intense pain in the chest or any other intense, persistent pain
    • Severe headache and/or temporary loss of sight 
    • Loss of consciousness subsequent to a skull trauma
    • Sudden weakness or inability to move or talk
    • Possibility of poisoning
    • Possibility of overdosing on medications or narcotics
    • Injuries to the head and eyes
    • Road accident with minor injuries
    • High temperature
    • Serious bleeding and injuries
    • Coughing or vomiting with blood
    • Possibility of fracture
    • Convulsions
    • Miscarriage or pregnancy with vaginal bleeding
    • Labour

    Generally, colds, common infections, situations involving a slight temperature, frequent pains, common gastrointestinal alterations and running out of your current medications are not health problems which warrant a trip to the Emergency Department. These types of concerns are best treated by your general or family medicine physician.

    However, when in doubt, proceed to the Emergency Department for an evaluation, particularly in the case of the children or the elderly, as these age groups are more sensitive and less resistant to health problems than adults or young people.

  • In situations that do not require urgent care, what services exist at the Hospital da Luz Lisboa?

    Appointments with our primary care physicians, Pediatrics, General and Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, is where you should begin for monitoring your health status, a general evaluation or a regular consultation for a specific concern. Primary care physicians provide in-depth, regular and long-term monitoring of the health status of people, from a preventive and curative medicine perspective. They also advise on the need to seek additional specialist consultations from physicians in other medical areas. In the Hospital da Luz, these physicians are central to the management of patient care, personalizing it, and tailoring it to the well-being of families. 

    Pediatrics, General and Family Medicine and Internal Medicine appointments can be made at Hospital da Luz Lisboa every working day on 217 104 400, directly at the hospital or by e-mail (see Appointments).

  • Who has access to the Emergency Department at Hospital da Luz Lisboa?

    Anyone may have access to the Emergency Department at Hospital da Luz Lisboa. However, this hospital is a private health unit, meaning that, when the patient is not the beneficiary of any health subsystem or health insurance that has an arrangement with the hospital (see Insurance and Subsystem Agreements), all expenses shall be paid for in full by the patient.