Childhood obesity: how to help children have a healthy weight

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various, Xanit salud | Posted on13-01-2020


In recent years the percentage of obese children has been much higher than 20 years ago, when there was no talk of improving healthy lifestyle habits among children, according to the Paediatrics Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital

Obviously, over the course of years, we have changed our way of living and that has harmed our health. As a society in general, we are increasingly leading a sedentary lifestyle, we are subjected to stress and the level of pollution increases day by day. The Mediterranean diet that we are so proud of is being swapped for processed meals, we do not sit down to eat with the family and do not exercise enough.

To try to understand the danger of childhood obesity and how to overcome it, we spoke with a specialist in this topic: Dr Pablo Ercoli, a paediatrician at Vithas Xanit International Hospital. The first question that we would like to ask the specialist is obvious:


From what parameters can you say that a child is obese?

By linking the weight and height of the child, we can get a parameter called Body Mass Index (BMI). If we compare it with a population of the same age and sex, we will be able to know if, within these parameters, the index is high or low, which is quantified by the so-called percentiles. In this case, percentiles express the percentage of the population with a lower BMI than the studied individual. Children between the 90th and 97th percentile would be defined as overweight patients. Those above the 97th percentile would fall within the definition of obesity.


Consequences of obesity on children’s health

Today we know that obesity is a proinflammatory state, which worsens the current and also future health of the child (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, etc.). Specifically, it generates various problems, from joint pain, back pain or trouble breathing well, especially when sleeping. There are also other triggers for childhood obesity, such as increasingly evident problems arising at school in the form of bullying, which is usually what makes the child and the family consult a specialist.

As previously said, as likely health consequences, in adulthood obese children will suffer from hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, heart problems to name a few. It goes without saying that it is always better to prevent these pathologies rather than having to fight them later on in life!

Are there differences between the feeding of a boy and a girl?

Healthy and varied eating should be the same for everyone, although it is true, for example, that in adolescence more iron intake is recommended for girls and more calories in boys.

As for the recommended daily calories, they depend closely on the age and specific needs of each child. Although paediatricians usually calculate individual caloric needs, it is generally better to focus on healthy eating, without calorie numbers as we adults do.


Healthy foods for proper feeding of children

In general, children should eat everything, as long as it is healthy.

Fruits and vegetables can never be missed. It is advisable to eat three pieces of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables a day, 5 in total, like the fingers of one hand! And if both are seasonal, it’s better.

Fish and legumes are also very important. Another food that can never be missing to accompany our meals is olive oil, however, in the amounts recommended for its high caloric load.

Also, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of the consumption of natural nuts, and processed nuts (fried, salted, ticked, etc.) should be avoided.

Finally, we will have to avoid processed and ultra-processed foods, excess salt, sugars, fats and proteins. Avoid specially packaged juices, pastries and sugary drinks.


Fewer fresh juices and more fruit pieces for children

Let’s take orange juice as an example. To fill a glass, squeezing without pulp, we will need about six oranges. That brings us too many sugars.

Besides, its absorption rate, which is called the “glycemic index”, is also essential. By extracting the juice from any fruit we make this glycemic index much higher, almost similar to that of refined sugars (sweets, pastries, etc.), which has known negative effects on health. Taking the whole fruit, in addition to reducing the net amount of sugar that is ingested, causes that, thanks to the pulp and the rest of its components, the glycemic index is considerably reduced, which results in a very positive way in health.

Therefore, it is certainly preferable to eat one or two whole oranges than a glass of natural juice made from several squeezed oranges.


How parents should act with an overweight child

The first thing is to assume that there is a problem and that it also has a solution.

A correct diet and proper exercise will make your child enjoy a full, healthy life now and when they grow up.

Overweight, obesity and undernourishment can be included in the concept of malnutrition. It is likely that even if a single family member has the diagnosis, everyone in the house has dietary habits that can be improved. It makes us think that malnutrition is a family and social problem rather than that of a single person, and that changing habits will improve the quality of life of everyone in the house.

We have to eat again as a family, taking our time, without watching television while we are eating. Going back to the “spoon” meal, grandmother’s recipes and the Mediterranean diet of local products. Besides, if we combine it with exercise, we will have healthy habits for life!

Antibiotics: how to take them responsibly

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on13-01-2020


Today we mark the European Antibiotics Awareness Day, promoted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and here at Vithas Xanit International, we wanted to join this celebration by highlighting the importance of making a prudent use of antibiotics, since an abusive use of these can cause bacteria to be become resistant to them, which poses a danger to the entire population, as they can lead to infections that are difficult to treat.

For that reason, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has launched a campaign focused on preventing self-medication with antibiotics by the general population so we wanted to share with you their messages of recommendation:


What is self-medication

Self-medication consists in taking antibiotics without first consulting a doctor, either by:

  • Using antibiotics left over from previous treatments.
  • Acquiring antibiotics in the pharmacy without a prescription.


How we can act

We must consider the following recommendations:

A doctor can only prescribe antibiotics.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic for a previous illness and have recovered well, it may be tempting to use the same antibiotic when similar symptoms occur. However, we must keep in mind that many pathologies, especially those in winter, may have the same symptoms, but that does not mean that they require the same treatment. Only a doctor can determine whether or not a winter disease requires antibiotic treatment. Therefore, it is recommended that the patient: Do not try to buy antibiotics without a prescription.

  • Do not store antibiotics for later use.
  • Do not take antibiotics left over from previous treatments.
  • Do not share excess antibiotics with others.
  • Do not store excess antibiotic treatments. If you receive more doses ( e. g. tablets or capsules) of antibiotics you have been prescribed, ask your pharmacist how to get rid of excess doses.

Antibiotics can not cure all diseases.

Up to 80% of winter infections affecting the nose, ears, throat and lungs are of viral origin, therefore, taking antibiotics will not help us get rid of them.

Is it the flu or cold what I have? Differences, similarities and how to treat both

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on07-01-2020


Breathing problems, phlegm, poor overall health… Flu and cold are very similar to the point that, on certain occasions, it is difficult to distinguish between the two pathologies.

Here at Vithas Xanit International Hospital,  we have prepared an article with some clues when in doubt if you are suffering from a common cold or flu and curiosities related to both, as well as general advice on treating them.


Differences: Yes, there are some…

It all starts with poor general health and a feeling of cold. Those first symptoms and the degree of virulence and intensity are already giving us a clue which out of two pathologies we are dealing with. The flu tends to be much worse than a cold and usually is followed by a fever that lasts for several days. Also, especially in children and the elderly, there is a greater risk of generating other health problems such as pneumonia.

The time of the year when the flu appears is also another clue. We can suffer from common cold almost at any time of the year. In contrast, the flu has limited its presence between the months of November and March.


Once identified, how can we treat it?

Treatment of influenza is fundamentally symptomatic, so it is recommended to drink a lot of liquids, take analgesics and antipyretics (ibuprofen or paracetamol). Acetylsalicylic acid is also a common resource, however, we try no to give it to children under 18 years of age to avoid Reye syndrome.

In both cases and in the light of the symptoms, you may use other drugs such as antihistamines, cough medicine, or nasal vasoconstrictors. On the contrary, we try not to prescribe antibiotics, since both flu and cold are produced by viral, non-bacterial infection.


Better to prevent…

We can pretty certainly say, that both influenza and the common cold are two of the most frequent diseases around. That is why a vaccination campaign to prevent influenza has been standardised, usually starting in October. There is no campaign to prevent the cold, as this is a more common ailment.

In the case of influenza, it is essential to call for vaccination within the main risk groups: people 65 years old or older, or people with diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, kidney failure or liver disease, as well as healthcare or teaching personnel.


And how do the flu and cold spread?

The transmission is carried out through saliva, which we expel when sneezing, coughing or talking. In this regard, a greater degree of hands hygiene becomes important and, as far as possible, avoid contact with sick people.

As a fact to keep in mind in older people, influenza does not directly cause death, although it can lead to complications such as an aggravation of chronic respiratory diseases, pneumonia or specific diseases of the patient.

The first mammogram, what should we know?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in ALL ABOUT CANCER, women's health | Posted on07-01-2020



According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer, “around 32,825 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Spain”. With such figures, we believe it is of utmost importance to raise awareness among the society of the importance of research and early diagnosis of breast cancer since it is the most frequent tumour in western women.

For that purpose Dr Fran Fernández, responsible for the Breast Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, explains today what mammography consists of and everything you need to know before making your first mammogram.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that allows detecting breast lesions before they even give symptoms (palpable lump, retraction of the skin or the areola-nipple complex, bloody discharge from the nipple, lumps in the armpits, etc.).

When should we undergo the first mammogram?

For risk-free patients, it is advisable to start with mammograms at the age of 40, however, the family history should also be taken into account. If there is a history of breast, ovarian, and/or prostate cancer, this test is usually started at the age of 35.

Mammography should be repeated every year or every other year if the results of the previous test came back normal. If you are a patient at risk, the doctor may indicate whether it is necessary to perform this test every six months or combine it with other imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI.


Some recommendations to keep in mind before performing a mammogram

  • If you have a very sensitive breast, to avoid pain from the breast compression, it is recommended to perform mammography after the end of menstruation, since the breast is less sensitive because it has less hormonal influence.
  • It’s important not to be afraid. Mammography lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, it is a fast process and carries no risk. Therefore, it is important to be relaxed, since it is a routine test and it does not involve any complications.
  • Try not to wear any metal objects on the day of the screening such as earrings, bracelets, etc., because you will have to remove them for testing.
  • It is also advisable to wear comfortable clothes that are easily taken off, as the chest must be bare for the test.
  • Only in the case of being pregnant could there be a contraindication to take the test because it can pose a risk to the baby, although your doctor will always advise you whether to do it or not.
  • If the patient is in the process of breastfeeding, it is advisable not to perform the mammogram because the breast is anatomically very transformed due to changes that occur during lactation; only in cases of high suspicion of breast cancer the mammogram is indicated.
  • In the case of patients with breast implants, you should be aware that the implants may decrease the sensitivity of the test. In these situations mammography can also be supplemented with ultrasound and resonance imaging.

According to AECC, the most important means for early diagnosis of breast cancer is mammography, and the chances of cure of cancers detected at the initial stage are almost 100%.

That is why it is essential to perform mammography, complemented by self-examination at home.

Hand hygiene: Find out why it is so important to wash your hands and how to do it correctly

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on26-12-2019



15th of October marks World Hand Hygiene Day, a UNICEF-led event born in 2008 with the aim of extending good hygiene practices across the globe, especially in developing countries. The United Nations Assembly also designated the same year as the International Year of Sanitation. Therefore, marking this day has an objective to ensure access to sanitation and safe drinking water throughout the world.

Parallel to World Handwashing Day designated by UNICEF for 15th of October, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 5th of May as World Health Hand Hygiene Day.

In 2009, WHO launched a global campaign entitled “Save Lives: Wash Your Hands”. Since then, the campaign took place in consecutive years and together with WHO various health ministries, associations for the prevention of infections and private organisations for patient safety have been involved.

The fact that two dates are commemorating the importance of handwashing is an obvious sign of the need to convey this concept to the public. For that reason, in this blog, we would like to raise further awareness of the importance of such a simple gesture as washing hands with the help of Estibaliz Salazar, a nurse in charge of Infection Control and Prevention at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.

Why is hand hygiene so important? Because in our daily activities, we are often in contact with bacteria, viruses and parasites (especially housed in faeces, fluids such as nasal secretions, food or contaminated water) that must be eliminated so that they do not pose a risk to our health. The fact is that, although it does not seem so, proper hand hygiene is just as important as some vaccines or medical interventions, in terms of the prevention of certain diseases. Proper hand hygiene at the right times can even save a life. Besides, if we do it correctly, we will eliminate bacteria that can cause disease, avoid passing bacteria to other people and prevent the spread of diseases that can become serious.

It is important to wash our hands continuously, especially if the hands are dirty, before eating or cooking food and after going to the bathroom or cleaning a baby. If hand hygiene is poor, we can not only catch certain diseases but also pass them onto other people. Also, we can contaminate everything we touch, infecting ourselves and others.

Pathologies such as diarrhoeal diseases or some acute respiratory infections are especially susceptible to their transmission through contaminated hands. Washing hands after going to the toilet and before preparing food help to reduce diarrhoeal diseases by more than 40% and respiratory infections by almost 25%.


How should we wash our hands correctly?

The right technique for handwashing is one that reaches all parts of the hands:


*Wet hands under running water

*Apply soap (neutral or antiseptic)

* Rub both hands together, insisting on interdigital spaces, nails and wrists

* Rub the palm of one hand on the back of the other by interlocking fingers and vice versa

* Rub the back of the fingers of one hand with the palm of the opposite hand, clutching your fingers

* Hold the thumb with the opposite hand performing rotational movements and vice versa

* Rub the tip of the fingers of one hand on the palm of the other by rotating motion and vice versa, insisting on the soft padded part of the fingers and nails

* Rinse with plenty of running water, preferably cold

* Dry with paper towels

* Close the tap with the paper towel used for drying


To maximise the effectiveness of handwashing, some recommendations should be taken into account, starting with the needed time employed for handwashing. Use an adequate amount of soap and plenty of water, dry with disposable paper towels using the same to turn off the tap and avoid repeated exposure of hot water due to the risk of developing dermatitis (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002).

With regard to the time we need to spend on handwashing, it will depend on what product we use for hand hygiene. For example, if done with soap and water the appropriate time would be 40-60 seconds, while if we do it with disinfectant gel or hydroalcoholic solution the appropriate time is approximately 20-30, until complete drying of the product.


Use of soap in handwashing

Washing hands only with water is not enough. To wash hands properly we should use soap, which favours the rubbing and removal of microorganisms.

It is advisable to use liquid soap since soap bars can become contaminated with bacteria, skin scales and hand grease As a result, solid soap bars become a repository of microorganisms and could lead to disease transmission rather than a reduction.


If you still choose to use soap bars, it would be advisable to rinse them beforehand for a few seconds under running water and then place them on surfaces that favour drying and avoid wet areas, which could promote the growth of bacteria.

Using soap bar is not dangerous, and can be very efficient if done properly, but liquid soap has greater advantages.


Sanitising gel in handwashing

Hand hygiene with disinfectant gel, also known as a hydroalcoholic solution due to its alcohol-based composition, is recommended when the hands do not have obvious dirt. It can only be a substitute for washing hands with soap and water in cases where the hands do not present visible dirt, as a mere means of disinfection.

It is not recommended to apply after hand hygiene with soap and water as it could damage the skin.


Skincare during hand washing

To take care of our skin during hand washing, we can follow some tips:

* Very hot water should be avoided

* Dry your hands well

* Use Ph soaps suitable for the skin, which are not too aggressive

* In case of using disinfectant gel, do not apply too much, with a little is enough, and rub your hands until the whole product has dried, thus avoiding the evaporation of the product on the skin that could damage it

* Avoid using disinfectant gel after washing with soap and water

* Use a moisturizer on hands

Although many people choose to use gloves to protect the skin, we must be aware that, although the use of gloves is intended to protect the skin of both staff and patients, their use is not a substitute for hand hygiene. Gloves can be damaged, have micropores and can cause contamination of hands during removal. The right thing will be to wear gloves when necessary and to carry out proper hand hygiene afterwards.

With these simple tips, hand washing will be effective and it will further help us to prevent and protect ourselves from pathologies. It is very important to pass such recommendations to the children as UNICEF considers children as the engine of change. That is why, further to promoting activities and campaigns similar to those of the NGOs, the most important thing we can do is to give children an example. Children will do what they see. We would like to see this message spread across the schools and families.

Treatment of coronary artery disease: bypass surgery and angioplasty

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart | Posted on17-12-2019

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Today in our blog we will talk about two of the most frequent types of surgeries in Spain, bypass surgery and angioplasty, which serve to treat coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease. For more information on these surgical interventions, we spoke with the Head of our Heart Department, Dr Gómez Doblas. In our hospital, we have a long experience in performing these interventions, with more than 500 aortocoronary bypass surgeries and more than 3,000 angioplasty performed.


Coronary artery disease, what exactly is it?

People with coronary artery disease form cholesterol and fat deposits, called plaques (lesions), in the coronary arteries. This process is called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and is progressive. If material continues to be deposited in the plaque, the coronary arteries may become partially or completely obstructed, and, therefore, the heart may not receive enough oxygen carried by the blood. If this happens, it can lead to angina pectoris or even myocardial infarction.

The good news is that, at present, this pathology can be treated through aortocoronary bypass or angioplasty, two of the most common surgical interventions in Spain.


Aortocoronary bypass and angioplasty

Aortocoronary bypass diverts blood flow by implanting grafts between the aorta and the distal part of the coronary arteries in order to save coronary lesions.

Angioplasty also restores blood flow by widening the artery with a catheter that grafts into the coronary veins and carries a balloon and a stent device that unfolds over the lesion that obstructs the artery, which allows restoring the passage of blood through the previously obstructed artery.

Every year around 5,000 aortocoronary bypass surgeries are performed in our country and more than

70,000 angioplasties. The progressive development of percutaneous or non-surgical techniques causes the number of the aortocoronary bypass to decrease and increase that of



Care to take into account after the surgery

Patients intervened by coronary bypass technique may present over the subsequent years progression of atherosclerotic disease in the native arteries and the appearance of vascular disease in the grafts; to prevent this situation, the most important thing after a cardiac bypass surgery is to have a strict control of cardiovascular risk factors (no smoking, taking care of cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes…).

Regarding patients undergoing angioplasty, the recommendations to take into account are: follow heart-healthy nutrition based on the Mediterranean diet, exercise, do not smoke and carry out strict control of risk factors. It is also very important to maintain the use of anticoagulation such as aspirin and clopidogrel for at least 6 months or a year.

Depression, are we aware of it?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on17-12-2019




This week marked the European Day of Depression, a pathology that currently affects a high percentage of the world population and that many specialists even qualify as the epidemic of the 21st century. To better understand depression, today we spoke with Guiomar Travesedo, a psychologist at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.


Most people with depression are not aware of it or do not know how to recognise the symptoms. What should we be attentive to?

Further to noticing the typical symptoms of depression, such as sadness, apathy, difficulty in feeling pleasure or joy for things or situations that we have previously enjoyed, there are more indicators that we should be attentive to. People who suffer from depression frequently experience that the feeling of the general malaise is significantly interfering with their lives, work, family or sentimental relationships.


Can it affect other aspects of our health?

Depression affects all areas of a person’s life, so it is very important to treat it as, in its most severe form, it can even end up in suicide.


And how can we treat depression?

Mild depression can and should (in my opinion) be treated with psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is the most endorsed by specialists, which consists in treating and intervening the patient both at the mental and behavioural level. If we talk about a long-term depression or a more severe form of it, further to therapy we recommend adding the medication also.


Specialists indicate that many people are suffering from depression and are not aware of it, is this the case?

It may be that a person has depression and does not know it or does not want to admit it. Still, in most cases, if we talk about major depression, the signs of deterioration are significant enough for the doctor to see them and diagnose depression.


There is a lot of talks now about childhood depression… is it true that there are more and more children with depression? Why is it attributed to?

Indeed, there are increasing cases of children with depression, WHO estimates that 2% of children aged 6-12 suffer from depression and in the case of pre-adolescents aged 12-14 it ranges from 4 to 6 per cent.

Depressive symptoms in childhood are similar to those in adults with the exception that they have more common irritability than sadness. Still, it is often difficult to diagnose it because symptoms are confused with the usual emotional changes in a child’s development.

The causes can be very diverse. One of the most booming among psychologists is the excessive load of activities and stimulation that children receive from a very young age (school, extracurricular classes…) and the type of parents education that we see most often in such cases, the so-called overprotector-permissive.


CPR, all we need to know

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart | Posted on05-09-2019


CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It consists of a series of universal and standardised manoeuvres implemented in the face of a cardiorespiratory arrest and included in what is known as the survival chain.

The cardiorespiratory arrest is defined as a sudden, unexpected and potentially reversible loss of consciousness, accompanied by a cessation of breathing and signs of life.

It is estimated that there are about 65 cardiorespiratory arrests per 100,000 inhabitants per year, resulting in arrest every 20 minutes. The leading cause of cardiorespiratory arrest is cardiac aetiology, 75% occur at home, and a high percentage are witnessed. For this reason, it is of huge importance to raise awareness among the population on CPR manoeuvres that will allow us to intervene in the face of a cardiac arrest.

Today Dr Pablo De Rojas, Head of the Intensive Medicine Department at our hospital, offers us some guidelines for action should we be a witness of a cardiorespiratory arrest.

In the event of a suspected cardiac arrest, the first thing to do is to stay in a safe, danger-free place (move the victim from the road, the water in case of drowning, etc.). Next, we should check the absence of consciousness by vigorously moving the victim and even causing pain with energetic stimuli. If the patient does not respond to stimuli and we are not dealing with a case of severe trauma, we should perform the face-chin manoeuvre pulling the head and raising the jaw, in this way we will open the patient’s airway. We should then check if the victim breathes by bringing our ear to his mouth and also examining whether the chest rises, HEAR if air comes out and FEEL the exhalation of the air.

If we check that the victim is not breathing, we determine the cardiac arrest situation and begin CPR manoeuvres.

How are the CPR manoeuvres performed?

To carry out CPR manoeuvre we must take off the victim’s clothes and perform chest compressions: with the palm of our hand and in the centre of the victim’s chest with our hands crossed, over the patient’s sternum and with a force that depresses the victim’s chest about 5 — 6 cm and at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. In this way, we will “squeeze” the heart temporarily replacing its pump function.

The chest compressions are then accompanied by mouth-to-mouth breathing. To do this we should seal the lips of the patient with our lips and pinch his nose, blowing into his mouth twice and making sure that the chest rises (only this way the manoeuvre is effective). It should be performed at a rate of 30 compressions alternating with 2 air blows.

It has been widely demonstrated that many lives can be saved with the chin manoeuvre and with early and correct chest compressions.

The third link in the survival chain is early defibrillation. The first cause of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is cardiac aetiology secondary to infarction and is caused by an arrhythmia. Such arrhythmia responds in a high percentage to early defibrillation. That is why the use of defibrillation is recommended as soon as possible.

With regard to cardiac arrest of paediatric origin, its most frequent cause is by airway obstruction secondary to the intake of a foreign body, therefore prevention and knowledge of airway removal techniques are essential. As for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres for the paediatric population, they are similar to those for adults, considering that chest compressions, obviously, in this case will be performed with a pair of fingers or with the palm of the hand, depending on the size of the child.

The usefulness of these simple manoeuvres, monitored and recommended by associations that advocate and standardise their use, is now widely demonstrated, recommending their knowledge to the general population and early and universal access to defibrillators.

There are multiple options to access relevant courses, where on mannequins we can learn basic life-saving techniques.

In our Vithas centres, we have a standardised training plan that ensures that all workers are trained to act in this type of incidents.

What should we do if we witness a cardiorespiratory arrest?

In case of suspected cardiorespiratory arrest, it is important to know the chain of survival, which consists of 4 steps:

  1. Notify the universal emergency phone number 112 and follow their recommendations.
  2. Remember the time of the suspected cardiac arrest, later you’ll be asked so.
  3. Start with cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres
  4. Request, if possible, an automatic external defibrillator.
  5. Expect the arrival of advanced medical services, while continuing to perform chest compressions.

Wearing contact lenses in summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Ophthalmology | Posted on02-08-2019


Summer is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities and get together with friends and family. Beach, swimming pool, riding a motorcycle, exercising outdoors or snorkelling are activities specially reserved for summer, but sometimes people who wear glasses find them as an uncomfortable inconvenience.

Summer happened to be the time of the year when people who are wearing glasses diced to try contact lenses instead.  There are also those who wear them all year round, but it is usually in summer when they wear contact lenses the most.

Whether you use them all year round or for the first time, you should keep in mind that proper hygiene of both hands and contact lenses is essential to avoid getting an infection. The most common is conjunctivitis, which occurs as a strong itching of the eyes accompanied by eye redness. In case of experiencing any of these symptoms, you should avoid aggressively rubbing the eye at all times.

It would be convenient to always have artificial tears at hand to relieve the discomfort. If the itching persists, the procedure would be to remove the contact lenses and see a doctor in order to avoid a major problem. Besides, frequent use of artificial tears will prevent the hot environment from drying out the eyes. The brand of the product should be consulted beforehand with a specialist since not all tears are compatible with contact lenses.

In any case, to avoid uncomfortable situations, it is recommended not to wear contact lenses for more than 8 hours continuously, nor to sunbathe with them on (unless we protect ourselves with sunglasses with a very high ultraviolet filter).

When storing contact lenses, it is always necessary to do so in their specific case and with the appropriate liquid. Under no circumstances should the lens be moistened with tap water, saliva or any product other than that indicated by a specialist.

In case of contact with chlorine in the pool or sand on the beach, contact lenses should be removed immediately to avoid infection and clean the eyes with saline solution.

Faced with the decision to buy daily or monthly contact lenses, it should be noted that daily contact lenses will be less likely to become contaminated as they are single-use. However, if proper hygiene and preservation of these are maintained, monthly ones may become equally advisable.

You should not abuse contact lenses or forget that, however comfortable they are when making plans for outdoors, the healthiest thing for the eyes is to let them breathe and protect them from the sun.

Sunscreens: what sunscreen should have to protect us

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on30-07-2019


Dr María Victoria de Gálvez and Dr Norberto López, members of the Dermatology Team at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, led by Dr Enrique Herrera Acosta, talk to us today about the characteristics and properties that sunscreen must have to really protect us. They also explain how to apply sunscreen.

To begin with, we need to know that there are three types of ultraviolet radiation, A, B and C, but only UVA and UVB rays reach Earth because UVC rays are filtered out by the ozone layer. UVA rays are active all year round and affect skin ageing and solar allergies. UVB rays reach the Earth’s surface in less quantity but are more energetic and are active especially in summer. They are primarily responsible for sunburn.


What really makes a cream protect us from solar radiation?

  • Physical and chemical filters: Sunscreens have physical filters and chemical filters. Physical filters contain particles that act as blockage of solar radiation. Chemical filters contain substances capable of absorbing solar radiation in the UV strip.
  • SPF: SPF is the ability of a sunscreen to decrease erythema caused by exposure to the sun. It is a number that indicates how long we can expose our skin without getting sunburned with UV rays.


What factors should we consider when choosing a sunscreen?

As a basic rule, it is necessary to take into account the SPF enclosed on the packaging, photoprotection against UV rays and water resistance, especially at children’s age. It should be borne in mind that in patients with pathologies such as photodermatosis or skin cancer, it is necessary to ensure a very high photoprotection.


Tips for properly using sunscreen

  • The most important thing is that we should never expose ourselves to the sun without any protection because even when it seems to us that there is no evident danger from the sun, ultraviolet rays always reach our skin.
  • We must avoid direct exposure to the sun, mainly during midday and especially in summer.
  • The sun cream blocks UV from the moment it is applied and stabilises after 5-10 minutes. So the general recommendation would be to apply it 5-10 minutes before exposure to the sun and repeat it at least every two hours, or more often if we have been swimming or had the sunscreen absorbed with our clothes.
  • Sunscreens have their expiration day and should be changed every year, as they lose properties and we may not be really protected and may suffer from sunburns or skin allergies.

Children, elderly and pregnant women are recommended to limit exposure to the sun. In the case of children and the elderly, the skin is more sensitive. In the case of pregnant women, hormonal changes cause them to be at greater risk of sunburns.