The National Institute for Silicosis was conceived, from the begining, as a medical center for the correct diagnosis of neumoconiosis of the coal workers, the same as alliviate, as far as posible, the complications derived from the disease, focusing on the mining workers. The dedication and efforts put on the project, together with the use of the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments in that moment, soon gave results, getting the recognition of the Institute by medical professionals and the rest of stakeholders.
At the present time, the medical departament of the Institute continues working with the same vigour as in the bening and with the experience of a half century of life. The incorporation of new technologies has let to spred the activities to the rest of occupational pneumology. This knowledge, in conjuction with investigation and specialization works, provided an unique know-how in this type of pathologies, in order to advise about them to all the stakeholders.
The medical department of INS are focused on primary occupational and environmental diseases prevention, just as diagnosis, control and treatment. In order to carry out these tasks, the Institute has available the facilities and human resources of the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA), having X-ray diagnosis, pulmonary function test, bronchoscopy and ecobronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), lymph node biopsy, lung biopsy and mineralogical test in biological samples.
At the moment, Pneumology Department is composed by pneumologists, nurses and several auxiliar workers with a vast knowledge in occupational pneumology. Clinical activity is carried out in HUCA building, thorough medical examinations of patients and workers exposed to the risks, who come from different locations. After the tests, medical team releases the report with the diagnosis and medical recommendations, being posible to monitor the patient, in INS or in the original hospital.
Pneumology Department carries out consulting works about occupational respiratory diseases and disability ratings, when they are requested by disability ratings department of the Spanish National Institute of Social Secutiry, insurance funds and Spanish Judge Navy Corp, according to the provided documents. In other cases, the advice is provided to official institutions in the process of drafting legislation related to occupational respiratory diseases.
This department also carries out important training works in the field of pneumology, teaching teorical-practical knowledgments to occupational medicine students who are formed in Asturias and to students from other autonomous comunity who request it.
Medical research activity complement the portfolio of the department, carring out epidemiological studies together with the Technical Department.
All these works are complemented by a multidisciplinary support provided by INS Technical Department and by other HUCA deparments, mainly radiology and anatomopathology areas, which have developed an extraordinary know how for these pathologies.