Endocrinology and Nutrition
The Endocrinology and Nutrition Department provides care for patients with endocrine gland diseases, which secrete hormones into the blood flow, as well as metabolism and all aspects relating to nutritional status at all stages of life. Thanks to translational research, carried out on our hospital campus, we can apply basic research to prevention and treatment, thus optimising patient care in terms of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
In our Department, we treat diseases such as diabetes, morbid or grave obesity and disorders derived from the thyroid gland and the pituitary gland.
We have a Day Hospital where we attend to patients with chronic illnesses that until now required hospital admission, but for which patients can now be treated as outpatients. This is the case, for example, of diabetic patients with acute decompensations. We also have a unit specialising in Diabetic Foot.
The Day Hospital offers primary care, improving coordination between the hospital and primary care centres. Every month, we attend to about 300 patients, most of whom are diabetic patients with uncomplicated acute illnesses. We carry out about 20 tests every month, and we also carry out telephone monitoring of patients when we have to monitor certain types of treatments.
The Day Hospital also performs functional tests to determine the patient's condition. One example is the implantation of insulin perfusion pumps, a device the size of a mobile phone that administers insulin 24 hours a day through a cannula that is implanted under the skin of the patient with type 1 diabetes. We also use devices to constantly monitor glucose levels. The devices are minimally invasive and designed to measure glucose levels and provide information on any fluctuations.
At the Endocrinology and Nutrition Department and the Nutrition Support Unit, we regularly organise information courses aimed at diabetics and their families, with the aim of improving their quality of life. These courses cover how to control diabetes, avoid decompensations and prevent chronic complications.
Diabetic Foot Unit
At the Diabetic Foot Unit, we treat the range of syndromes that affect the feet of patients with diabetes. The possible complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus, which affects 6.5% of the population between 30 and 65 years old, according to data from the Department of Health, include neuropathy, where the nerves of the feet are affected, ischemia, which causes a progressive decrease in blood flow to the foot, and infection. These complications cause tissue damage to the skin, or foot ulcers, causing significant morbidity and sometimes leading to amputation.
We have a multidisciplinary team that was set up to ensure early detection of any complications due to the disease and thus avoid the need for amputations. This involves the following departments: Traumatology and Orthopaedic Surgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Infectious Diseases, and Angiology and Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.