January 3, 2024 – The Zagreb Emergency Service is overwhelmed with calls and is asking citizens not to call unless in absolute emergency.
“The director called out as it’s winter, and there are a lot of people with respiratory infections, with an increased body temperature, we have an increased number of calls regarding advice to lower it. Now, it’s not a problem for us to advise, as it’s not a demanding call, but it takes up phone lines,” Davorka Muškardin, head of the emergency department, stated for Nova TV/Index.
“It takes time to give that person quality advice, you need to ask questions, and all of this takes up the time of the emergency service, that is, the phone line which is normally used for life-threatening conditions,” she continued.
“While we are busy giving advice on fever, someone whose life is in danger could be trying to reach us. Whether it is a heart attack, a stroke, some serious injuries, traffic accidents, and such patients cannot receive emergency care on time,” Muškardin noted.
Advice on Fever
“To begin with, for the first three days, you should not report to anyone in particular in the sense that you should go to the family doctor. You should lower the body temperature, and I think most citizens know how to do it. Our mothers and grandmothers knew that. You should take the appropriate amount of medicine, most often paracetamol or ibuprofen, and the temperature can also be reduced by external cooling of the body, such as showering in lukewarm water and lukewarm compresses,” explained Muškardin.
“The same applies to small children and to all people who are otherwise healthy. With old and seriously ill patients, it is something else, however, with younger, healthier patients, a three-day fever is not considered alarming, and in any case, in those three every day the picture of the illness changes, so an adequate diagnosis can be made,” she pointed out.
“Advice for such types of disorders should be given by family doctors. During holidays it was certainly more difficult to reach a family doctors, but in most cases they give such advice,” said Muškardin.
“Only call if you need Urgent help”
“It’s a very busy day, we have a lot of calls, a lot of interventions, now in the evening the pressure has decreased a bit,” Muškardin said and added that different patients come, from those with the flu and coronavirus to those older chronic patients who require some care.
“COVID is present, I can’t tell you the exact numbers right now, but it is always there,” she said.
“We appeal that when you call the Emergency Service, 194, try to call if you really need it, if it is a life-threatening situation because otherwise, you are taking up the lines of someone for whom it could mean life,” Muškardin noted.