At the Microbiology Department, we seek to maximise efficiency and sustainability to meet the needs of the public. We have a broad catalogue of services with state-of-the-art tools in clinical microbiology, in terms of both diagnosis and the monitoring of microorganisms in the population and the study of epidemic outbreaks.
The Microbiology Department works in two sections and across four transversal units: The Bacteriology and Mycology Section, the Virology Section, the Molecular Biology Unit, the Serology Unit, the International Health and Parasitology Unit and the Support and Innovation Unit.
We also respond to clinical problems in the field of infectious diseases, as we provide high-quality diagnosis and the necessary resources for research projects, which is one of our main objectives.
Portfolio of services
Our team is made up mainly of university professors committed to technological innovation, quality and safety. This places us at the forefront of diagnosis, and our laboratory is a leader both nationally and internationally in several areas:
- Study of community outbreaks of food poisoning in Catalonia (Public Health Agency of Catalonia)
- Screening for human papillomavirus infection in Catalonia (Catalan Institute of Oncology)
- External quality control for antibiotic sensitivity tests on mycobacteria. We are also a leading player within the Spanish Network of Tuberculosis Laboratories (Ministries of Health, Social Services and Equality). Since 1994, we have been part of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (IUTLD) network, and the international network of reference health laboratories of the World Health Organization (WHO)
In addition, the Microbiology Department has effectively implemented a quality management system in accordance with the requirements of UNE-EN ISO standard 9001-2008.
We aim to generate knowledge with our basic and applied research projects, as well as enhancing the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of residents, and the continuous education of all our laboratory staff. We have a microbiology research group led by Dr Tomàs Pumarola dedicated to the study of microbial aspects involved in infectious diseases.
The Microbiology Teaching Unit is run by the Microbiology Department, with participation from the Paediatric, Intensive Care, Infectious Pathology and Primary Care Departments.
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.