In a dramatic race to treat a critically injured Palestinian Authority Arab youth, an emergency medical team from Rambam rushed to a hospital in eastern Jerusalem with the equipment that would save his life.
When 18 year-old Muhammad Jabri from the Judean city of Hebron went out to celebrate the end of high school, the evening ended with a near-fatal motor accident that left him critically injured.
The teen was treated intially at a local hospital in Hebron and then he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in eastern Jerusalem.
But when Jabri’s condition suddenly began to deteriorate, the doctors realized that his lungs were damaged beyond their capacity to resuscitate him. At this point Dr. Abed El-Rauf Bey, Head of the ICU, urgently contacted Dr. Tzvi Adler, a senior Cardiac Surgeon in the Cardiac Surgery Department at Rambam hospital in Haifa.
A team from Rambam had recently come to Augusta Victoria with an ECMO machine to administer temporary external cardiac and respiratory support to one of their patients. This same ECMO machine, Dr. Bey realized, was the key to saving young Jabri as well.
“Immediately that same night, an ambulance set out from Rambam to eastern Jerusalem, carrying the ECMO machine and a medical team led by Dr. Adler,” said a spokesperson for Rambam Medical Center.
Arriving at the hospital, they connected the youth to the ECMO, then carefully transported him to Rambam.
“His condition was precarious when he arrived here,” recalls Dr. Adler. “but the ECMO gave his lungs a rest and his body the chance to recuperate.”
After a little over two weeks in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Rambam, Jabri is now out of danger and ready to return to the hospital in eastern Jerusalem.
“We expect he will make a full recovery,” says Assistant Professor Gil Bolotin, Director of the Cardiac Surgery Department. “Our department cooperates with hospitals throughout Israel, extending this life-saving equipment wherever it is needed.”Hana Levi Julian