The most frequent pathologies for which patients go to the emergency room during the holidays are usually acute-onset external otitis and gastrointestinal problems as the main cause of admission, as stated by Dr.Juan Costell, head of the emergency department of the Quirónsalud Torrevieja hospital.
As for otitis, Dr. Costell explains that “otalgia with a history of recent bathing is usually the reason that causes greater care consultation. They are usually secondary external otitis by immersion in swimming pools or in the sea, as is usual at this time of year.” This type of ear infection, caused by the action of moisture, produces an alteration in the epithelium of the external auditory canal, which in turn causes the germs that are usually in the duct to penetrate, causing the infection.
As for its symptoms, the doctor reports that “it manifests as a strong pain in the area and, if the disease progresses, suppuration and narrowness of the ear canal occurs along with a temporary hearing loss since the inflammation does not let the air through”,
Dr. Costell recommends that, after three or four days, after the visit to the emergency room and treatment with topical antibiotic therapy, the patient should visit the otolaryngrine since this pathology can give many problems a posteriori and should be controlled.
In relation to gastrointestinal problems, Dr. Costell points out that, although the care demand is lower than in cases of otitis, the severity of the pathology may even require the patient’s admission. “Acute gastroenteritis is usually accompanied by vomiting, increased number of bowel movements, diarrhoea, high fever and oral intolerance. Most of these problems in summer are due to food poisoning, the main danger being severe dehydration, especially in children and the elderly.”
To prevent a picture of gastrointestinal problems in summer, hand hygiene is essential before preparing food and consuming, preferably, freshly prepared or refrigerated food, since the heat can alter its state.
Summer pathologies, what they are and how to avoid them
Although these pathologies are present all year round, as stated by Dr. José Luis Lasaga, head of emergencies at Quirónsalud Alicante, “it is in summer and during the holidays when they manifest themselves in a more recurrent way”. To know what they are and how we can avoid the most common summer diseases, Dr. Lasaga indicates to pay attention to the following points:
- Dermatological infections and other of these the most frequent are fungal infections and especially the so-called athlete’s foot, which occurs after stepping on wet ground and previously infected by other people. “To prevent it,” says Dr. Lasaga, “it is important to use flipflops both in swimming pools and showers and dry our feet very well. In case of infection, it will be necessary to use a topical antifungal treatment”
- Diseases related to heat and prolonged exposure to high temperatures without adequate ventilation or hydration. “Its symptoms can range from muscle cramps, dizziness, loss of consciousness, to hyperthermia, hypotension, dehydration and death,” explains the specialist of Quirónsalud Torrevieja. The doctor advises avoiding peak hours of sun, proper hydration and keeping the body cool.
- Sexually transmitted diseases by increasing the possibility of isolated sexual contact without the use of adequate protective measures. To avoid them, Dr. Lasaga advises the use of condoms to minimise the risk of contracting these diseases. “If this happens, go to your doctor to perform the appropriate complementary tests and establish the appropriate treatment,” says the specialist.
- Bites of insects and other animals such as sea urchins, jellyfish, etc. In most cases they cause mild symptoms that are usually controlled with physical and anti-inflammatory measures, “although we must not forget that we must consult with your doctor or go to the emergency services without having symptoms such as dizziness, loss of consciousness, uncontrolled fever, dyspnoea or chest pain”, says Lasaga.
Finally, to spend a good summer without scares the specialists of Quirónsalud Torrevieja and Alicante recommend drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding the hours of increased sun exposure, use of adequate sunscreens, a balanced diet, washing hands frequently, and if we travel do not forget the medication if you need it and health reports, and in case of doubt consult with our usual doctors or go to the emergency services.