Marbella Family Medical Blog
The Marbella Family Medical Blog is a collection of the top questions we've received on our site related to family-medical issues and emergencies in Marbella and the Costa del Sol. We've all been in a situation where a child slips and falls, or develops a questionable rash while playing outside. This blog aims to address those concerns that have become commonplace for families living or vacationing here on the Costa del Sol.
Please note that the Marbella Family Medical content below is only intended to be a guideline and you should immediately consult an expert regarding any medical issues of concern.
If you have a specific question that you'd like to see addressed on the Marbella Family Medical Blog that is not time sensitive, please let us know using our Ask a Question feature located on the bar above. We'll consult with a medical expert and post the result on this Blog.
We'd like to thank the peadiatrics team at Hospital Ceram for their expert responses on the topics below. Enjoy your time in Marbella and always remember - Safety First!
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Think about your eyes on World Health Day
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MENINGITIS VACCINATIONS: HOW IMPORTANT ARE THEY?
The meningococcus or Neisseria meningitides is a gram-negative bacterium cause meningitis and other forms of meningococcal disease such as meningococcemia …
The meningococcus or Neisseria meningitides is a gram-negative bacterium cause meningitis and other forms of meningococcal disease such as meningococcemia or sepsis.
The bacterium is referred to as a coccus because it is round, and more specifically, diplococcus because of its tendency to form pairs.
The meningococcus (Neisseria meningitides) is the one with the potential to cause large epidemics. There are 12 serogroups of N. meningitides that have been identified, 6 of which (A, B, C, W, X and Y) can cause epidemics. Geographic distribution and epidemic potential differ according to bacterial serogroups.
The bacteria are transmitted from person-to-person (is an exclusively human pathogen there is no animal reservoir) through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers. About 10% of adults are carriers of the bacteria in their nasopharynx. Close and prolonged contact such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters (dormitory, sharing eating or drinking utensils) with an infected person (a carrier) facilitates the spread of the disease. The average incubation period is 4 days, but can range between 2 and 10 days.
The bacteria can be carried in the throat and sometimes, for reasons not fully understood, can overwhelm the body's defenses allowing infection to spread through the bloodstream to the brain. It is believed that 10% to 20% of the population carries Neisseria meningitides in their throat at any given time. However, the carriage rate may be higher in epidemic situations.
The most common symptoms are a stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting. Even when the disease is diagnosed early and adequate treatment is started, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. Bacterial meningitis may result in brain damage, hearing loss or a learning disability in 10% to 20% of survivors. A less common but even more severe (often fatal) form of meningococcal disease is meningococcal septicaemia, which is characterized by a hemorrhagic rash and rapid circulatory collapse.
Initial diagnosis can be made by clinical examination followed by a lumbar puncture showing a purulent spinal fluid and the bacteria can sometimes be seen in microscopic examinations of the spinal fluid.
The identification of the serogroups and susceptibility testing to antibiotics are important to define control measures.
Suspicion of meningitis is a medical emergency and immediate medical assessment is recommended. Current guidance in the United Kingdom is that if a case of meningococcal meningitis or septicaemia (infection of the blood) is suspected intravenous antibiotics should be given and the ill person admitted to the hospital. This means that laboratory tests may be less likely to confirm the presence of Neisseria meningitides as the antibiotics will dramatically lower the number of bacteria in the body. The UK guidance is based on the idea that the reduced ability to identify the bacteria is outweighed by reduced chance of death.
Appropriate antibiotic treatment must be started as soon as possible, ideally after the lumbar puncture has been carried. If treatment is started prior to the lumbar puncture, it may be difficult to grow the bacteria from the spinal fluid and confirm the diagnosis.
A range of antibiotics can treat the infection, including penicillin, ampicillin, chloramphenicol and ceftriaxone.
The most important form of prevention is a vaccine against N. meningitides. Different countries have different strains of the bacteria and therefore use different vaccines.
Five serogroups, A, B, C, Y and W135 are responsible for virtually all cases of the disease in humans. Vaccines are currently available against all five strains, including the newest vaccine against serogroups B. The first vaccine to prevent meningococcal serogroups B (meningitis B) disease was approved by the European Commission on 22 January 2013. The vaccine is manufactured by Novartis and sold under the trade name Bexsero. Bexsero is for use in all age groups from two months of age and older.
Serotype distribution varies markedly around the world. Among the 13 identified capsular types of N. meningitides, six (A, B, C, W135, X, and Y) account for most disease cases worldwide. Type A has been the most prevalent in Africa and Asia, but is rare/ practically absent in North America. In the United States, serogroups B is the predominant cause of disease and mortality, followed by serogroups C. The multiple subtypes have hindered development of a universal vaccine for meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal vaccines are available in either bivalent (groups A and C), trivalent (groups A, C and W), or tetravalent (groups A, C, Y and W).
Written by Dr.Luzdivina Garcia Morales
For more information Marbella Family Medical advice on vaccinations, contact Ceram Hospital.
Marbella Family Medical advice:
Teeth injury in children…What to do?
As distressing as it might be for parents, chipped or broken teeth are quite common in kids. These teeth injuries can occur in a wobbly toddler after a hard fall, a sporty preschooler who gets knocked in the mouth by a ball, or a curious youngster who crunches on hard candy. Your child’s injury may be to a baby tooth or a permanent (adult) tooth.
The tooth can be fractured (broken or cracked) or chipped, and sometimes it may not even hurt. If a large piece of tooth breaks off, however, it will probably cause pain, and your child’s tongue may get cut against the sharp, jagged surface. If the break extends into the tooth’s pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels lie, that tooth becomes much more sensitive to hot and cold liquids and food.
Your child’s dentist can recommend the best method of treatment for a chipped or broken tooth. Treatment can depend on the size and location of the break or crack and sometimes, in the case of very small cracks, no treatment is required.
For a chipped baby tooth, your dentist might leave it alone or simply smooth and polish it.
If one of the front teeth gets chipped, the dentist can smooth the jagged edge and insert tooth-colored filling. A permanent tooth may require filling material to stop the damage from getting worse and to help the tooth feel better.
A broken tooth usually involves the whole tooth down to the nerve. Typically, the break can be fixed with a filling to repair the lost tooth structure, but sometimes a crown is required.
What should I do if my child injures a tooth? Marbella Family Medical advice:
In the case of any tooth injury, contact your dentist right away. If you act fast, you can help to save your child’s tooth and any future potential for extensive dental work.
MarbellaFamilyFun.com would like to thank the peadiatrics team at Hospital Ceram for their expert response on this topic. For more information about dentists in area, check out what the community is saying about recommended dentists in Marbella.
Marbella Family Medical advice:
There is nothing worse than going to the beach with our children expecting a great day, only to hear crying and screaming because something has stung their skin. Weekend over!
Before we get into how to treat a jellyfish sting, it’s first important to understand how jellyfish stings work.
Jellyfish sting you through nematocysts which are released from their tentacles. Nematocysts are tiny spine covered tubules. The spines anchor themselves in your skin and when the nematocysts fire, various chemicals are injected into you. In some cases, you may have thousands of these nematocysts attached to your skin after being in contact with a jellyfish tentacle, not all of which may fire right away. These stingers can continue to release jellyfish venom (poison) into the body.
How should you treat a jellyfish sting?
Most stings can be treated with these simple remedies. If your child is stung:
Call an ambulance immediately if someone has been stung and:
Unproved or unhelpfulremedies to avoid:
Marbella Family Medical advice on how to avoid a jellyfish sting?
MarbellaFamilyFun.com would like to thank the peadiatrics team at Hospital Ceram for their expert response on Marbella Family Medical topics.
Marbella Family Medical advice:
The first thing we need to know is that any insect who lives in our environment can bite our kids including: mosquitos, spiders, caterpillars, etc.; but not all of them cause a severe reaction.
If your kid has been bitten by a spider or a scorpion, try to identify or take a picture of the insect if this can be done quickly and safely. The insect identification can give us an idea of the evolution and severity.
If you don’t see the insect, or can’t identify it, here are some guidelines to help you know what to do:
When is it an emergency?
The symptoms vary according to the type of insect and the individual. In most cases, bites and stings can be easily treated at home. However, some children might have a severe allergic reaction to insect bites and stings or some insects can have poison.
We have to suspect the child has a severe reaction (Anaphylaxis) when the symptoms develop quickly, often within seconds or minutes. The following symptoms require immediate urgent emergency care.
Symptoms that require immediate emergency care:
These severe reactions can be rapidly fatal if untreated. Call immediately for emergency medical assistance: 112 / 061
For emergencies (severe reactions):
General steps for most bites and stings:
And always remember to ask your doctor!
NOTE: We'd like to thank Dr. Luzdivina Garcia Morales de los Rios, at the Paediatrics Department at Hospital Ceram for the responses provided in the Marbella Family Medical Blog.
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