We are the combination of four hospitals: the General Hospital, the Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital and the Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospital. We are part of the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus: a world-leading health park where healthcare plays a crucial role.
Below we will list the departments and units that form part of Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the main diseases that we treat. We will also make recommendations based on advice backed up by scientific evidence that has been shown to be effective in guaranteeing well-being and quality of life.
We will guide you from your first visit to the centre, allowing you to find all the departments and make the most of our facilities. Whatever the reason for your visit, we will explain how to get about the hospital.
Paediatric Intensive Care,
Hospital Infantil i Hospital de la Dona
Ampullary epidermolysis is a group of genetic disorders that may present themselves in various ways, from milder forms to more severe ones: affecting the skin and mucous membranes, involving the formation of blisters and vesicles after the slightest trauma. They can also affect other organs, in different ways.
The best thing is if the patients, their families and their caregivers receive comprehensive health education, especially when they are first diagnosed, during the baby’s first few days, when skin lesions can already begin to occur.
The education aimed at preventing the evolution and complications of the disease will be given by professionals from the following disciplines:
Skin affected by ampullary epidermolysis is very sensitive to the slightest pressure or friction, which then causes a blister to form. To avoid damage, bear in mind the following recommendations:
Bronchiolitis is an infection that causes the small respiratory passages in the lungs (bronchioles) to become inflamed and mucus to build up in them. This blocks the flow of air, making it difficult to breathe.
It happens more often in babies because their airways are smaller and more easily blocked than in older children.
Bronchiolitis is not the same as bronchitis, which is an infection in the larger and more central airways that typically causes problems in adults.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection in babies and small children and it is one of the viruses that causes fever in children.
When it infects the lungs and airways, it is often responsible for bronchiolitis and lung disease or pneumonia in children less than one year old. In fact, the highest incidence of HRSV occurs in babies from two to eight months old.
It occurs more often between the months of October and March.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is also the most common cause of hospital admission in babies under one.
Bronchiolitis often begins with the same signs as catarrh. Infection can stay in the nose or extend to the ears and lower respiratory tracts.
Babies and small children affected by HRSV may show signs of:
Treatment for bronchiolitis due to HRSV basically consists of alleviating the symptoms. Antibiotics, which treat bacteria, are useless because, as we mentioned above, it is caused by a virus.
It is therefore advisable to:
Severe cases are treated in the hospital to give humidified oxygen and medication to help the child breathe more easily. In total, the condition usually lasts between one week and ten days, although a residual cough may persist for weeks. Bear in mind that the virus does not give the child immunity; they can become infected twice in the same season and reinfected in subsequent years.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is very contagious. It is spread if you come into direct contact with the nasal and throat secretions of someone who has the disease. This can happen when another child or adult coughs or sneezes nearby and the tiny droplets are inhaled by the baby. Also through hands or objects that have come into contact with infected people and then come into contact with the baby.
The virus can live for half an hour or more on your hands. It can also live for up to five hours on clothing, tissues, toys or furniture.
Infection can be prevented using several measures:
Complex paediatric neurosurgery encompasses a series of pathologies that, due to their complexity, have to be treated in a centre with the necessary technology, professionals and expertise.
Complex paediatric neurosurgery includes:
In general, these are unusual and highly complex diseases. Many are included under the sections for rare diseases. For the best results, they should be treated in large centres that have experience of multiple cases every year and that are equipped with the technology required to treat these disorders.
Each condition has its own characteristics. In the case of a brain tumour, the child’s symptoms will depend on the area of the brain where the tumour is located.
When there are cases of decompensated hydrocephalus or severe intracranial hypertension, in other words, when there is increased pressure inside the skull, the child may have headaches, visual disturbances and may go into a coma.
Craniofacial malformations are characterised by severe deformities of the bones in the skull and face.
They tend to be rare. It is unusual to treat more than ten cases of each pathology per year.
Diagnosis of neurosurgical pathologies includes:
Assessing the results also involves psychologists or other professionals to objectively observe changes in cognitive function and quality of life.
Treatment of pathologies covered by complex paediatric neurosurgery is usually surgical. This means having an operating room equipped with advanced technology that allows intraoperative monitoring, and specialised anaesthetists and nursing staff.
Unfortunately there are no known preventative measure for these disorders. Our principal task is to restore lost function and achieve the best results so that, where possible, the child can develop normally and integrate as much as possible into family life, school and socially.
In treating diphtheria, time is key. For this reason, it is important that it be administered within the first 48 hours after the symptoms appear, without waiting for confirmation of the diagnosis, which must be done in the laboratory.
The treatment uses diphtheria antitoxin and antibiotic treatment using penicillin G procaine.
A heart transplant is when a new heart is implanted. When the organs to be transplanted are the heart and the lungs, this is known as a “cardiopulmonary” transplant. This procedure is necessary when the patient suffers from a heart failure that limits their daily activity and all other treatment options have been exhausted.
The purpose of the transplant is to implant a heart from another person (usually from a donor in a state of brain death) to take over the functions of the heart of the sick person. Sometimes, heart disease causes lung problems or vice versa: pulmonary disease can cause heart disease. In these cases, the heart and the lungs must be transplanted, which is called a "cardiopulmonary transplant". Depending on the type of illness, one or both organs will be transplanted, whatever offers the maximum benefit at the lowest risk.
Before the intervention, a team of professionals must study the patient following a clinical and surgical protocol in order to guarantee success.
The operation is performed under general anaesthesia. During the process of heart transplant, the sick heart is removed and in its place a new one is implanted. Sometimes, it is also necessary to transplant the lungs.
In order to perform these operations, a multidisciplinary team of highly specialised and experienced professionals is required, as well as advanced technology and appropriate facilities.
Post-operative care is handled by the Intensive Care Unit, where intensive doctors, cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and pulmonologists take care of the patient until they are stable, when they are then moved on to a conventional hospital ward.
During this process, the doctor indicates personalised immunosuppressive therapy programme and infection prevention to be followed by the patient, along with any appropriate modifications that might be needed during the post-operative period.
At the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, we provide life support treatment. We treat patients who, when an organ fails, require specific treatment to replace that organ’s function. We are a leading reference ICU for congenital heart disease, solid organ transplants, neurocritical patients, burns and spinal cord injuries.
Our mission as a paediatric ICU is to take care of children's health, through effective, efficient and quality health care in the treatment of diseases.
More specifically, our objectives are:
Flu is an infectious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, of which there are three types (A, B and C) and various sub-types. It is an illness that can present in a wide range of clinical forms: from asymptomatic infections to respiratory pictures that may undergo complications. The flu viruses circulate during the winter months in Spain, producing seasonal epidemics. The flu viruses that circulate each season do not have the same pathogenicity and different people's susceptibility to the viruses is not the same. The intensity of flu epidemics therefore changes year on year, both in terms of the number of people affected and with regard to the clinical picture of the infections. Anti-flu vaccination is the most effective primary prevention measure to prevent flu and its complications.
Flu is transmitted from an ill person to another person through droplets expelled when coughing and sneezing. The transmission period starts from the day before symptoms appear and persists for five days afterwards.
It is estimated that seasonal flu may affect between 5% and 20% of the general population, and that approximately 25% of febrile respiratory processes may be produced by the flu. This increased morbidity gives rise to a large number of medical consultations and absences from work as a consequence of the disease. Moreover, some people, such as older people, those with chronic illnesses, immuno-suppressed people and pregnant women, among others, may suffer more from the illness and it is common for them to experience complications during its evolution. Flu thus continues to be a major public health issue.
Flu presents heightened fever, dry cough, headache and neck ache, muscle pain and general illness. It can also cause diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, especially in young children. In most cases, people recover in 7-10 days.
Flu may affect anyone, but the most vulnerable to suffering complications are children under the age of 2, people aged 60 or above, pregnant women, morbidly obese people and people of any age who suffer from one of the following types of illness: cardiovascular, pulmonary (including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis and asthma), neurological, neuromuscular, metabolic (including diabetes mellitus), kidney failure, immunosuppression, cancer, chronic liver diseases, asplenia and iron deficiencies.
Flu diagnosis is normally clinical and does not require laboratory tests. Despite that fact, microbiological diagnosis is fundamental to be able to obtain aetiological confirmation in patients with risk factors and those with serious illnesses. The detection of the virus in respiratory samples can be done using cultures, antigen detection techniques and molecular methods.
There is no specific treatment for flu. Treatment with analgesics and antipyretics (paracetamol) is recommended to alleviate or treat some of the symptoms associated with flu, such as fever or headache.
Antibiotics do not cure the flu. Only in cases where there is an overlying bacterial infection, such as pneumonia, or in those with chronic illnesses, may preventive antibiotic treatment be indicated to avoid complications.
Antivirals, such as oseltamivir or zanamivir, may be indicated in people at high risk of complications to reduce the duration of the flu and the possibility of complications, but they should begin to be taken within 48 hours from the outbreak of symptoms.
The best way of protecting yourself from the flu is vaccination and following good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of the virus. The purpose of anti-flu vaccination each year is to generate protection against the flu viruses that circulate in the flu season. Health authorities and scientific associations around the world unanimously recommend seasonal anti-flu vaccination for people at high risk. Anti-flu vaccinations are very safe and well-tolerated with effectiveness that ranges from 30% to 70% to prevent hospitalisation due to flu and pneumonia. In older people living in institutions, vaccinations have proven to be between 50% and 60% effective to prevent hospitalisation or pneumonia, and 80% to prevent death by flu.
Dr. Tomas Pumarola, Dr. Andrés Antón, Dr. Magda Campins, Dr. Xavier Martínez, Dr. Benito Almirante, Dr. Assumpta Ricart, Dr. Carlos Rodrigo, Dr. Sebastián González.
Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease caused by the Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacteria and which only affects humans. It may show up as a condition of the upper respiratory tract (tonsils, pharynx and nasal mucosa). The bacteria produces an exotoxin that is responsible for the clinical symptoms of the disease. In adults, it can be fatal in 5-10% of cases, and in children this rises to 20%.
The characteristic symptom of respiratory diphtheria is a greyish white membrane (pseudomembrane) covering the tonsils and pharynx. The membrane tends to be difficult to remove and in doing so the area bleeds easily.
The most common symptoms are:
Thanks to vaccination, there have been no cases diagnosed in Spain for over thirty years. In 2015, however, there was one case in a child who had not been vaccinated.
Diphtheria is transmitted through respiration or close physical contact with an infected person or a healthy person carrying the bacteria but who has never shown symptoms.
The incubation period is two to seven days and it can be spread from seven days before symptoms appear up to two or three weeks afterwards.
Diagnosis is confirmed via microbial culture of clinical samples (swabs from the nasal mucosa, pharynx or pseudomembranes).
Diphtheria antitoxin medication and an antibiotic such as penicillin G procaine must be given as soon as possible (in the first 48 hours after showing symptoms, without waiting for the laboratory diagnosis).
Vaccination is the main measure to prevent diphtheria and is effective in 95% of cases. It must be periodically boosted as the effects of the vaccination do not last for ever.
Epidemiological monitoring and prophylaxis are essential to control the bacteria and to avoid secondary cases.
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