With 4,000 admissions and 9,000 consultations, internal medicine covers the burden of health care in Cabunes

Last year, the Internal Medicine Service of the University Hospital of Cabaunas treated approximately four thousand hospitalized patients and another nine thousand in outpatient consultations. It is the service with the largest care burden, the service with the highest number of medical admissions, but also the “most unknown”.

What does an apprentice do? Taking into account everything that is involved in a specialization, the answer could be that an internist is like a family doctor within a hospital because in this clinical service the most common pathologies are treated, ranging from heart failure to Includes cases of pneumonia, chronic bronchopathies, urinary infections. , kidney problems, skin problems… He has a comprehensive approach to the patient.

A patient who has multiple malignancies. And older. Therefore, in a region like Asturias, which has a growing aging population, the workload for the internal medicine service does not stop increasing from year to year. Developments in disease management and treatment also influence this rapid increase in the number of patients treated. Julio Noval, a member of the service since his years as a resident doctor, says, “It was always the service with the highest medical income in the hospital, but now much more.”

Let me give a recent example. Last Christmas, at the peak of the spread of the respiratory virus, Internal Medicine admitted almost two hundred patients in Cabunes. This is almost half of the hospital’s available beds. “We had patients on all floors from zero to eighth,” while theoretically internal medicine only occupies the even fifths and the even and odd sevenths. Because “all winters are bad, but this year was even worse. ‘We had seventy admissions that weekend,’ says Nouvel.” Last Christmas was undoubtedly the busiest period, except for pandemic years. This intern Said this was influenced by relaxation in mask use and vaccination rates that did not reach expected levels. “A mistake,” he laments, noting that both factors would have likely reduced hospitalizations and mortality. Are.

24 doctors

Novell is one of 24 representatives of a service headed by Dr. María Jesús Barragán since the retirement of Joaquín Morais de la Tassa in 2022. They also have ten inhabitants – two per MIR year-, a figure that will likely increase with three inhabitants per year from 2025.

Internal medicine has specialized sections, such as the autoimmune diseases unit, the infectious diseases unit, and the heart failure unit. It also cooperates with the traumatology service in the orthogeriatrics section for clinical monitoring of patients operated on for hip fractures, which helps to avoid possible medical complications and reduce hospitalization time. Part of his work is also inter-consultation with surgical services at Cabunes Hospital and collaborative virtual consultation with primary care doctors.

Regarding hospital admissions, the average stay is six days, which is a “very good” ratio. On the other hand, the waiting list for external consultation is “one and a half or two months”, although priority is given to consultation for reasons that require it. Internal Medicine has four outpatient clinics: two for general internal medicine, one for infectious diseases and the fourth for autoimmune diseases.

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