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The “new life” of the Zendal hospital: reference center for spinal cord and brain injuries


Madrilenians, in April 2021, waiting to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Enfermera Isabel Zendal hospital (REUTERS/Sergio Pérez)
Madrilenians, in April 2021, waiting to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Enfermera Isabel Zendal hospital (REUTERS/Sergio Pérez)

The regional government that presides Isabel Diaz Ayuso wants the hospital Nurse Isabel Zendalbuilt in record time during the coronavirus pandemic, becomes a reference center throughout Europe to treat patients who have suffered spinal and brain injuries. Ayuso presented this Thursday the “new life” of this public center, where a large Functional Neurorehabilitation Center “which will be a pioneer” will be launched and in which patients of all ages with this type of damage will be treated. .

In addition to classic treatments, the new center will have innovative spaces equipped with augmented virtual reality in glasses or screens, immersive virtual reality rooms, exoskeletons and robotic rehabilitation. “These new advances for public health in Madrid will make it possible to treat children who have suffered a traumatic brain injury with serious consequences, to adults affected with spinal cord injuries as a result of a traffic accident, or who suffer from brain injuries that impair their physical and intellectual capacity. “, Ayuso pointed out.

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“Once again Zendal shows its unique, avant-garde origin, at the service of the best healthcare in Europe,” continued the Madrid president. This new center will allow Zendal to advance in the study of all these pathologies and in their treatment and care methods, being able to associate a space for research and teaching. It will have an Intensive Neurorehabilitation Unit and another pediatric unit, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychologists and neurocognitive recovery. “The best thing is that the hospital will care for patients affected by various emergencies, regardless of the volume. It’s what we built it for. It will always be at the service of all those who need it,” Ayuso stressed.

Infographic of how the new medical spaces are distributed within the Zendal hospital
Infographic of how the new medical spaces are distributed within the Zendal hospital

This new Functional Neurorehabilitation center will be located in pavilion 1 of the hospital, where it will also be enabled a day care center for ALS patients (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) until the definitive treatment for comprehensive care for these patients is completed at the Puerta de Hierro hospital, in Majadahonda. The Functional Neurorehabilitation Center has been operational since the end of 2025, while the ALS unit will become operational in the first quarter of 2024.

Despite these new functions, the hospital will continue to maintain the same spirit with which it was born in 2020 as a hospital capable of facing, if necessary, any type of contingency in the event of a hypothetical catastrophe. To this end, pavilions 2 and 3 will be equipped with ICUs, recovery units and a new high-resolution surgical center. The latter will be used to perform outpatient interventions on patients who are on the surgical waiting list, thanks to a provision of up to 15 operating roomsan intensive care and resuscitation unit and a waiting area for companions.

Simulation of the new recovery rooms of the new Functional Neurorehabilitation Center
Simulation of the new recovery rooms of the new Functional Neurorehabilitation Center

Likewise, it starts a high resolution diagnostic center which will have adequate spaces and state-of-the-art equipment for laboratory tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, computerized tomography (CAT) scans and open magnetic resonance imaging. Zendal opened its doors in December 2020 as an “emergency hospital” to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, but since the pressure on care due to this crisis decreased, the Community of Madrid has given it various health uses: from a rehabilitation after strokes or surgeries, a vaccination center, a regional public health laboratory and even a 112 switchboard. It has also served as a care point for Ukrainian refugees.



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