Hospital da Luz Official Partner in the Longest Transatlantic Kitesurf Crossing

Hospital da Luz will ensure medical assistance in the longest transatlantic crossing kitesurfing in pairs started September 4th, at 2:00 p.m. (continental time), in Ponta Delgada Marina, intending to fly from São Miguel island, in the Azores, to the mainland, along a path of over 1,500 km.

Francisco Lufinha, world record-holder of the longest non-stop kitesurf flight (874 km, in 48 hours, between Lisbon and Madeira Island) and the also record-holder from Germany Anke Brandt, which travelled from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi (489 km, in 30 hours), will pair along the course, sharing miles in intercalary 8-hour shifts.

From the starting point until the arrival, the two kite surfers will count with a support boat that will accompany them with a crew of 8 elements: four skippers, a physiotherapist, a photographer, a cameraman and a physician from Hospital da Luz – general-surgeon Diogo Albergaria, which will be prepared to deal with clinical issues or emergencies that may affect the two athletes and remaining crew, along the 5-10 days necessary to complete the crossing, depending on the atmospheric conditions.

Aboard the support boat, Diogo Albergaria will have a medical area equipped with the necessary devices to provide clinical assistance, emergency care and reanimation, such as a defibrillator monitor, surgical kits, suture material, oxygen bottles, medication drugs and serum systems, among others.

Preventing potential accidents

For Diogo Albergaria, this challenge started a few months ago, identifying the different situations of medical emergency that may occur and planning the necessary steps to deal with it: “Besides the physical weariness of the kite surfers, there is a wide range of accidents that may occur in the sea and for which we have to be prepared to act upon in medical terms – such as, for instance, crashing into a container during the night. As we are not in the controlled environment of a hospital, where we have all the material and human means to perform treatment, different situations must be predicted”, he stated.

The general-surgeon from Hospital da Luz adds that, if life saving measures are needed, there is equipment on board to deal with such situations and ultimately stabilize the patient until evacuation by the rescue resources of the Portuguese Navy.