Military Commandos course is “reacting to stimuli”

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The Minister of Defense revealed today that the 139th Army Commandos soldier who is hospitalized after having suffered “a heat stroke” is reacting to stimuli, although he remains in an induced coma.

“He is reacting to stimuli, but the situation is still one of great reserve. We are following it very closely and I naturally want to wish this military man a speedy recovery,” said the Minister of Defense, Helena Carreiras.

According to the governor, who was speaking to journalists in Estremoz (Évora), on the sidelines of a visit to the São Nuno de Santa Maria Residence, of the League of Combatants, the military’s situation “is being monitored.

“In fact, after the incidents last September, changes were made to the course itself and there is much closer monitoring and tracking of the military, of the activities during these very demanding trials in preparation for the command course,” he said.

“Also in this case there was this monitoring, this follow-up, and we are therefore trying to find out what exactly happened,” but “only really the doctors and the clinical situation will reveal what happened,” he added.

The Minister of Defense, who hopes to visit “as soon as possible” the soldier who is hospitalized in Santa Maria hospital in Lisbon, guaranteed that she learned about this case on June 12 and explained why the Army only divulged the situation a few days later.

“The Army is evaluating the situations and perhaps imagined that it would be a more easily resolvable situation, the fact is that it was not possible and, therefore, the soldier is still in an induced coma and at that point decided to give all the information and that’s what he did,” he said.

The Army disclosed Tuesday that a 139th commando soldier is in an induced coma after suffering “heat stroke,” and the branch has opened a fact-finding process.

In a statement, the Army says that the 139th commando course began on April 12 and, two months later, on June 12, “during the execution of the instruction of a 15-kilometer marching course, with a five-kilogram load, at kilometer 14, a male soldier was assisted by the military medical team, and the INEM was called and transported” to Santa Maria Hospital in Lisbon.

“He was diagnosed with heat stroke and for the inherent risks of organ failure was admitted to intensive care. The neurological situation advised that coma be induced, a situation in which he remains,” reads the note.

The Army adds that the Chief of Staff, General Mendes Ferrão, ordered the course interrupted “until the completion of the clinical evaluation of all trainees” and an inquiry process was opened.

Once the clinical evaluation was completed, the course was resumed and the gait evaluation was held on June 16.

The Army says that this course is in its 11th week out of a total of 17 and has 22 instructors in training out of an initial total of 52 trainees.

Last year, a fact-finding process was opened for the 138th Commando course after six people were assisted in hospitals, including one serviceman who needed a liver transplant.

The conclusions of the inquiry and technical inspection process to the 138th Commandos course were at the time sent to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

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