Dr. Mario Zambrano

Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says you shouldn’t listen to your neighbor, or to the pharmacist or the chiropractor about vaccines. “Listen to your physician if you trust your physician, go to reputable websites like to CDC.org, which has the latest and the greatest information on vaccines or diseases.”

The CDC website is the best place to start, it is easy and it also speaks to the general public. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains some vaccines are live attenuated agents, like varicella, and some others are the protein derivative of the disease.

“It’s well known that live vaccines, like the flu vaccine, stimulate the immune system a lot better. It creates a longer protection, so we don’t have to vaccinate as much,” he says. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says when they talk about autism, they don’t know all the facts about autism, but they know for sure that vaccines are not the cause of it.

He explains for other cultures that are in USA, bringing the diseases to light is very important, as also is debunking the studies that have been done, blaming the vaccines for autism. There is no proven link between vaccines and autism. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, Vexplains few years ago there was a study published that was proven to be false. “That study was one of the biggest medical hoaxes in history and has done a lot of damage to vaccinations and people that want to get vaccinated.”

He also says with the advent of the internet and social media, people are reading a little more about problems that vaccines have supposedly brought. “I wish some vaccines were mandatory, but, unfortunately, we live in a society where we can’t force people to believe what you believe.” Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, highlights vaccines are important. “Unfortunately, there’s more advertisement on cholesterol than there is on vaccines. A lot of people don’t remember about people dying of tetanus or pertussis, but they do remember a relative having high cholesterol.”

He says even though they don’t have vaccination of smallpox anymore, there is something called warfare that can bring those agents back. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains the difference between inoculations and vaccinations. “With inoculation, they used to take pus or agents from the scab, and inject that into a patient to prepare the body to fight the infection. Nowadays, we have purified antigen; that’s safer, it doesn’t cause as much reaction, and doesn’t cause the disease.”

He also says the inoculations would make you sick, and some people would even die from it. According to him, vaccines are useful so your body can create a memory of the condition, because the body learns by suffering these conditions and prepares the immune system. Dr. Francisco Medina, Director of Pediatric Emergency Services and Chief of Pediatrics at Homestead Hospital, explains when you have an exhaustion of heat the brain doesn’t function as normal. “The child starts to get a little disoriented and lose their balance, then suddenly they could have a seizure or pass out. If they come really on time, it won’t leave any damage to the kid,” he says.

Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Homestead Hospital, says other symptoms of heat exhaustion is when you child is red, breathing heavily, complaining of muscle aches. They need to hydrate themselves. Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Varicella, Hepatitis A, and Meningococcal are some of the recommended immunizations for children. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says there are certain diseases that are a little more serious than others, but all the vaccines are important.

“It’s better to give a few vaccines than no vaccines at all, but there’s an increasing number of parents that don’t want their child to suffer with multiple vaccines,” he points out. “We now have combination vaccines that makes it easier for the physician to give less vaccines, but we give at least three at a time.” Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Homestead Hospital, says Florida receive a lot of tourists. “Some of them do get the infection abroad and some get it here, but it is important to educate physicians, as well as people, to recognize the virus,” he points out.

He says the symptoms of zika and other viruses are pretty similar: headache, joint pains, body ache. Those can be taken as a simple flu, but he recommends if there is a suspicion or you have traveled recently, you have to consider the zika virus as a possible diagnose. Get your child out of the water and take them to a safe spot; check to see if the child is breathing, if not, start CPR; and send someone to call for emergency medical help. These are some tips you should follow in a drowning emergency.

Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Homestead Hospital, says it is important to know how to do CPR. “It is easy to watch a video on Youtube of how to do CPR. I tell parents all the time, you take a few moments to look at Facebook, you can take a few minutes to watch a video, especially if you have small children,” he points out. Dr. Francisco Medina, Director of Pediatric Emergency Services and Chief of Pediatrics at Homestead Hospital, says there are a lot of misconceptions about the use of vaccines, but it is important for the physicians to know what vaccines your children have, so they can know what possible diagnoses can be determined.

“Not too long ago, like three or four months ago, we saw a patient with whooping cough, we saw another patient with diseases that you wish had been prevented by the vaccine, like mumps,” he says. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has issued a new recommendation about swimming in lakes, because of the presence of amoeba, a parasite that is able to get into the brain.

The CDC release an information to the physicians about the importance of early recognition, early detection and informing the CDC that they have a patient with this type of amoeba, because they have a medication that they are using and apparently is highly effective.

According to Dr. Francisco Medina, Director of Pediatric Emergency Services and Chief of Pediatrics at Homestead Hospital, the mortality rate goes close to 95%, so very few people survive to this amoeba. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains allergic asthma is when you are allergic to pollen, a scent, or a perfume, and you have and asthma attack and the only thing that helps is a bronchodilator.

He also says a child can outgrow asthma by four years old or five years old when their immune system becomes modulated and they learn to deal with allergens. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains when you have a bronchospasm or unattended asthma, the airways get thicker and there is reduced air movement.

He also says in chronic asthma the airway gets smaller, and any little trigger will make it worse, then you will have difficulty breathing. He points out statistics say it is more prevalent in females, also African Americans. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says if you do not follow a treatment plan, asthma can get worse with time. He highlights it is important to use the medications, like inhaled steroids, which have a bad connotation, but they help to avoid asthma attacks.

He also explains the symptom of an asthma attack is shortness of breath, because they cannot get air in their lungs nor out. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains we have large and small airways, and asthma typically affects the small airways, it causes bronchospasm.

He also says an asthma attack is triggered by different environmental things or allergens, and it can cause you to restrict your airway and have difficulty breathing. Coughing, especially at night; wheezing; shortness of breath; and chest tightness, pain or pressure are some symptoms of asthma.

Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains asthma is different from croup, which is when you have a stridor breathing in, versus trouble breathing out when you have asthma. About treating asthma with steroids, Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says decades ago, they used to use oral steroids a lot more than they do now. “We have inhaled steroids, a child is getting micrograms that is less than a milligram. The amount you are inhaling only does its job locally.”

He explains when you take local steroids, they have to go through your bloodstream to reach the lungs where they do their job, so you need a higher dose, and that is why inhaled steroids are a lot better. The allergy tests are skin tests, intradermal tests, challenge tests, and blood tests. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says if a young child has an allergy, they can do a blood allergy test to determine what can it be (milk, dust, mold, pet dander).

He explains the skin test is done by an allergist when they have done blood testing, but that is negative and they still think there is an allergy. He points out blood test is not 100% accurate. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says the immune system is not exposed to a lot of things in the uterus and when people are born they are bombarded with allergens. Everything is an allergen: food, milk, dust, mold, pollen, head dander; all are handled by the body differently.

He also explains if there is family history of allergies, the allergy march can be significant with eczema, asthma attacks, sinus problems, among others. He points out as people grow older and their immune system modulates, most children outgrow it. Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says asthma will go away when your body has adjusted to the environment and learned how to deal with allergies and allergens. “If you don’t follow your doctor’s advice, if you don’t listen to the cues, asthma can become adult asthma.”

Some benefits of good asthma control are: it prevents chronic and troublesome symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath; it reduces the need of quick-relief medicines; and it helps maintain good lung function. The most common asthma triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergens, pets, mold, and smoke from burning wood or grass.

Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, says about tobacco smoke that there is a third hand smoke that stays on your clothing and hair. “Parents often say ‘I smoke outside, I do not expose my child to cigarette smoke’, but they smoke and keep on the same clothing around the child or patient, you can still smell it.” If your child is asthmatic, it is important to make sure you let the school know it and prepare an action plan that includes your child’s name; your name and home, cell phone and work numbers; the name and number of a family member o friend; a list of triggers; a list of medicines and dosages and specific instructions on when they should be used; your pediatrician’s name and phone number; and the name and number of your local hospital.

Dr. Mario Zambrano, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician with Homestead Hospital, explains a list of triggers is important, because if they know the kid is going to have an asthma attack if they are outside and there is pollen in the air, they have to make sure the child is medicated before they go outside and play.

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