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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Rambam Hospital’

Rambam Medical Team Saves Life of Arab Teen in Hebron

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

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

Israeli Doctors Help Out Hundreds of Children in Vietnam

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

For over 30 years, the international Operation Smile has provided over 200,000 free surgical procedures to children and young adults around the world suffering from facial deformities, giving each one a new start in life in some of the world’s most impoverished communities.

During this year’s Operation Smile campaign in Vietnam, two Israeli doctors joined 300 delegation members from 18 countries in January, to provide free reconstructive surgery for children born with conditions such as cleft lip and cleft palate as well as other facial deformities.

Dr. Omri Emodi and Dr. Zach Sharony hail from Rambam’s Health Care Campus. Dr. Emodi works in the hospital’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dr. Zach Sharony works in the Department of Plastic Surgery.

A cleft is an opening in the lip, the roof of the mouth or the soft tissue in the back of the mouth, while cleft palate occurs when the two sides of a palate do not join together. Children born with cleft conditions often suffer from ear disease and dental problems as well problems with speech development. They may also have difficulty speaking, hearing, breathing or eating properly. In developing countries, parents often cannot afford the corrective surgeries their children need for healthy, productive lives. Operation Smile has often reached areas where children and families have never even seen a doctor or healthcare worker.

As the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity providing free cleft surgeries, Operation Smile heals thousands of children every year. The international children’s medical charity works in over 60 countries to heal children’s smiles with a network of more than 5,400 volunteers from more than 80 countries including Israel. Volunteers donate their time and efforts to provide safe surgeries for children and postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children.

During January’s Vietnam mission, the Israelis doctors were part of an international medical team that performed more than 500 cleft surgeries during the 10 days they spent volunteering across the country. Delegation members operated 12 hours each day and helped children at six different sites throughout Vietnam.

“The atmosphere among doctors was extremely convivial. Our free time was filled with conversation, jokes and mutual invitations,” remarked Dr. Sharony. “The cliché that medicine is a bridge between cultures was more apparent than ever.”

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Lancet Editor Gives Full-Throated Apology for Vicious Anti-Israel Article

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the British medical journal The Lancet, unreservedly apologized for running a virulently anti-Israel open letter accusing Israel of a “massacre” in Gaza during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge. The apology was made at the conclusion of a three-day visit to Rambam Medical Center and to the Technion Medical School, in Haifa.

The bitterly anti-Israel letter, written by Paola Manduca and signed by 23 other medical professionals, was published online on July 23.

The open letter accused Israel of committing war crimes, of “targeting whole families, killing them in their homes.”  It claimed that Israel’s attacks on Gaza “aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.”

The letter, published in such a prestigious medical journal, also painted virtually all Israeli academics as being complicit in the “massacre and destruction of Gaza” because of their failure to denounce the Israeli government and join with the letter writers in demanding that Israel cease the military action in Gaza.

Although Horton initially refused to apologize for publishing the highly politicized and intemperate letter, according to a press release issued by Rambam Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 2, he completely reversed himself, by the end of his trip.

Horton stated that his visit to Israel was a “turning point for me and my relationship with this region.”

The visit consisted of tours of Rambam’s medical units, a series of medical and ethical lectures, discussions, debates and visits. During his short visit to the region, Dr. Horton met with young Israeli and Arab doctors, in order to gain their perspective, and he met with doctors who treated the wounded on the battlefield in Gaza, both Israeli soldiers and Arab victims.

Discussions during his visit included “Science and Medicine as a Catalyst for Peaceful Coexistence,” and “The Ethics of Armed Conflict and Responsible Scholarly Journalism.”

On Thursday, the last day of his visit, Horton was a guest at a debate entitled, “Publications which promote political agendas have no place in scientific and medical journalism and academics should refrain from publishing in such journals.” Supporting the premise was a professor of Geriatrics at Ben-Gurion University, and opposing was a professor of psychiatry from Tel Aviv University.

Horton ended his visit by giving a lecture in the Rambam Grand Rounds, “Geopolitical Issues and Responsibilities of Medical and Scientific Journals.” (A video of the full lecture follows this article.)

The British doctor began his lecture by stating, “I need, very honestly, to set the record straight with you. First, I deeply regret the completely unnecessary polarization that publication of the letter by Paolo Manduca caused.” He continued, second, “I was personally horrified at the offensive video that was forwarded by two of the authors of that letter. The world view expressed in that video is abhorrent and must be condemned, and I condemn it.” Horton continued with the commitment that he will be “publishing what I have just said in The Lancet next week.”

In addition to making it absolutely clear that he was profoundly sorry that his publication was used in such a blatantly political and completely unjustified manner, Horton expressed the desire for The Lancet to receive papers from Israel and to promote collaboration between Rambam and The Lancet “to further the cause of health care at all levels of society for all peoples.”

Horton told his Israeli colleagues that his visit represents “a fresh start for a new and different future.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Despite Rockets: PA, Gaza Arabs treated at Haifa Hospital

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Palestinian terrorists may be firing one rocket at Israeli civilians every 10 minutes, but that hasn’t altered Jews’ approach to treating Arab victims of Hamas from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. Currently,  three adults and eight children from Gaza are hospitalised at Rambam Hospital, in addition to three adults and two children from the PA. In addition, seven PA Arabs have been treated this week at the hospital’s outpatient clinics. Additional patients from Gaza are scheduled for treatments later this week.

Most of the hospitalized children are in the pediatric oncology or nephrology wards. Of these, the majority is under the age of three, and they are accompanied by relatives. Additional medical problems and the need for long-term treatment makes lengthy hospitalizations standard for these children.

Yazid Falah, the hospital’s coordinator for Palestinian patients, said medical cooperation between Israel and the PA continues despite the rocket fire.

“Despite the security situation, and despite the fact that both sides are fighting, all continues as usual in the realm of medical cooperation. Even in times of war we continue to receive patients and give them the care they need—children and adults,” Falah said.

Falah added that while treatments for all patients have continued unabated, the fighting between Israel and Hamas has created an unmistakably difficult situation for many patients.  “On the one hand they are in Israel and see the consequences of Hamas’ actions and how people get hurt on this side of the border. On the other hand, they fear for the lives of their family members back in Gaza,” Falah said. “There are those who have told me they are ashamed of what Hamas is doing; others say they are afraid of how people will talk and look at them here in the hospital. Some say they are afraid to return to Gaza. Others just don’t know what to think. They have a life there and see the kind of life people have here.

“At the end of the day, they simply want to live in peace, but it is clear to them that the situation has changed. They believe the situation is only going to get worse,” Falah said.

“When the hostilities escalated, the Palestinian patients feared a cold reception,” says Falah, “we explained that would never happen in an Israeli hospital. Here you see people and not nationalities. Many times, Israeli patients reach out to their Palestinian “neighbors” to help them feel more comfortable and to encourage them. Eventually, all are in the same boat.”

Meir Halevi Siegel

Israeli Doctors Save 7-Year-Old Jordanian Boy

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Israel medicine has trumped politics again, this time in order to perform a kidney transplant for the desperate Jordanian parents of a seven-year-old boy, making the diplomatic row between Jordan and Israel over the killing of a Jordanian judge just another whiff of Arab hot air.

“Y” received a new life at the hands of Israeli doctors at Rambam Health Care Campus, where doctors only one month ago began performing pediatric kidney transplants. News of availability of this surgery traveled quickly and within a few days Rambam received a request from the Jordanian parents of “Y,” “Please help us by doing a kidney transplantation on our son.” A few days ago it happened.

The little boy, “Y,” suffered from acute kidney failure and needed a new kidney to survive. However, the procedure is not available in Jordan. After checking all possible options, his parents felt that Rambam was the best place to go. They turned to Dalia Bessa, the Israeli Civil Administration Health Services Coordinator, to help bring their son to Rambam.

For Rambam this came as quite a surprise—the procedure had only been available for a few weeks there. Prior to that, Rambam only offered kidney transplants for adults. Once Rambam received approval for performing this surgery in children, the hospital became the second in Israel able to provide this service, and the only one in northern Israel.

Due to the immediate danger to “Y”’s life, approvals were processed quickly. He came to Rambam shortly before surgery to undergo pre-surgical examinations and tests. Since he needed to undergo daily dialysis, and tissue matches had determined that his mother was a suitable donor, he stayed at Rambam. Even though his parents had seven other children, both parents stayed with “Y” to see him through this life-saving surgery.

When the day came, it was literally a day of surgery. First, the little boy’s mother underwent a three-hour procedure performed by a multidisciplinary team to remove one of her kidneys. Then a different multidisciplinary team brought “Y” into a separate surgical suite where the three-hour transplantation was performed.

The surgeries were successful and two days later “Y” and his mother were able to see each other. “Y” is now in a regular pediatric room becoming acclimated to his new life, no longer dependent on machines to stay alive. Soon he and his parents will return to Jordan.
Last year, 600 children and adults from the Palestinian Authority were brought to Rambam for a variety of simple to complex medical problems.

Jewish Press Staff

Buffett Donates $10 Million to Haifa Hospital

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

American billionaire Warren Buffett is donating $10 million, which comes out to approximately how much he makes in seven hours, to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital, in honor of the medical facility’s 75th year.

The contribution was announced by Eitan Wertheimer, according to Globes business newspaper. Buffet paid the Wertheimer family $6 billion in 2006 and this past May for all of the shares of the Iscar toolmaking company, his first acquisition in Israel.

His closeness with the Wertheimers and his stated love of Israel as a pot of gold for investors now has paid off for Rambam.

Buffett made approximately $37 million a day this past year, based on an estimated $12.7 billion increase in his net worth in 2012, thanks to the raging bull market in the United States.

However, Buffett will have to settle for being only the second richest American with a new worth of only $59.1 billion. First place was taken over by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is now estimated at $61.1.

So far he has not donated to Rambam.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel: Leading the Way

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Israel. A country filled with creative minds, bursting with initiative, and teeming with innovation. And it’s not just in the world of start-ups that this picture rings true. One of the areas in which Israel is a true leader and initiator is in the field of emergency, trauma and mass-casualty preparedness.

“Unfortunately, in Israel, we have a lot of experience in the field of urgent care medicine”, explains Dr Moshe Michaelson, Medical Head of Rambam Health Care Campus’s Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency and Mass Casualty Situations. “Our specific experience with war and terror has led us to possess extensive knowledge in trauma care and a highly developed system in preparation for, and in response to, mass-casualty incidents. A number of years ago we decided that we should share this knowledge with others”.

Thus, in 1999, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in collaboration with other hospitals across the country, Rambam Health Care Campus ran a one-month course for medical professionals from South America. “Doctors and nurses from a range of South American countries flew to Israel and we taught them how best to organize a trauma center and be prepared for a mass-casualty event”, continues Michaelson. “The idea is really very simple. It’s all about having a plan in place so that if a mass-casualty situation suddenly arises, staff are fully prepared and the hospital can cope in terms of having enough resources, space and medical staff. This plan then has to be drilled into all staff members so that they can respond immediately in the event that they are faced with a mass-casualty situation. We taught the group how they could implement a plan like this using very little money and making use of the resources their hospital already has”.

The success of this course led to the establishment of the Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency and Mass Casualty Situations, which is the only one of its kind in Israel. Each year, twenty-five select doctors and nurses from countries as far-flung as Thailand, India, Ecuador, Mozambique, China and Costa Rica, fly to Israel to attend this course, and to date, over 600 medical professionals have received training at the Rambam Campus in Haifa, and countless others have been trained by the Center in their own home countries.

“Obviously it takes time for each hospital to put the practices we teach them into place and it can be challenging for some staff members who have attended the course to start making these changes, especially in big hospitals”, continues Michaleson. “But we truly believe in its importance. Every country has problems with trauma and mass casualties, whether it’s with car accidents, industrial accidents, military casualties or terrorist attacks—no place is immune. Over the years, and especially since the 2000 Intifada, Israeli hospitals have been fine-tuning their response to these situations, and according to Israeli law, each hospital in the country must have a suitable system in place. In my opinion, Israel is the country best prepared for situations of mass-casualty events in the world, and we are pleased to be able to share our experience with others”.

During the recent Pillar of Defence Operation in the South of Israel, one such an emergency response plan was put into place at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva.

Soroka Medical Center is the only tertiary hospital with Level I trauma facilities in Israel’s southern region. As such, it provides medical services and backup in emergency and war situations to other hospitals in the south. The mission of the Soroka Emergency & Contingency Team is to prepare Soroka for mass-casualty events and war situations.

“The way our hospital staff worked during the Pillar of Defence Operation was incredible to witness”, comments Nurit Vaknin, Coordinator of the Emergency & Contingency Team. “Everyone knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Within an hour of the operation being declared, the Home Front Command of the Israel Defence Forces sent us 80 soldiers to help with moving patients to protected areas, transferring medical equipment to where it was needed, and generally help with anything that needed to be done”.

“One of the main challenges that a hospital like ours faces during wartime is how to provide the best possible care to civilian and military casualties at the same time as attending to the regular needs of the general population”, Vaknin goes on to explain. “And thank God we’re doing something right, because when 300 casualties of the rocket attacks entered the hospital, the management of everything — from patient care to hospital resources — all went extremely smoothly”.

Dealing with the threat of rocket attacks in not a new concept in Israel. But what is new is the threat of hospitals themselves being directly hit. “Since January 2009, Soroka itself has repeatedly been targeted by Grad missiles, Katyushas, and other rockets coming from the Gaza Strip, 43 kilometres west of Beer-Sheva”, continues Vaknin. “This means that not only do we have to be prepared for many incoming casualties but we also have to protect the hospital and our patients”.

Soroka’s operating rooms, intensive care units and several other areas have therefore been specially designed so that they are protected from rocket attacks. Other wards that aren’t protected are speedily evacuated at times of high alert. In addition, following the 2009 threats, efforts were stepped up to increase the signage in the hospital so that everyone would know where to go in case of incoming rocket attacks, and in planning new infrastructures, the hospital’s management took into account the need for protected areas.

Protected areas are not just essential in the south of Israel, but up north too. The Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital on the Rambam Campus in Haifa takes this concept to a whole new level, being the largest structure of its kind in the world.

“The initiative for a fortified hospital came about following the Second Lebanon War six years ago”, explains Professor Rafi Beyar, Director and CEO of Rambam Health Care Campus. “The hospital itself was under missile attack, and although no one was hurt, we realized that we couldn’t rely on miracles anymore”.

The structure that has been built is an underground three-story, 60,000 square meter facility, which during peacetime will function as a 1,500-vehicle parking lot. The structure is fully fortified against conventional, chemical and biological warfare, which means that not only does it have cement walls and ceilings 40cm thick, but tens of thousands of ventilation and air filtration units have been installed, equipped with carbon and HEPA filters that are 98% effective in filtering out biological and chemical agents.

If war is suddenly declared, the parking lot will immediately transform, within a maximum of 72 hours, into a fully sealed off, self-sufficient emergency hospital, able to store enough breathable oxygen, drinking water, and medical-gas supplies for up to three days. The process for this transformation has been methodically planned—logistically and medically—by a team of expert consultants, so that each and every detail is accounted for.

“As the main referral hospital for over two million people in the North of Israel, we are determined to have the capabilities of providing acute and chronic hospital care under fire to all those who need it”, states Beyar.

Whether a war, terror attack, traffic accident or any other type of mass-casualty event, one of the main problems a hospital has to grapple with is priority management. Due to the fact that a mass-casualty situation can happen at a moment’s notice, hospitals will suddenly have more needs to take care of than resources available. Hospital staff therefore have to be able to think on their feet, quickly access the necessary resources and prioritize patients according to need and severity.

The Israel National Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research (NTDR) was established in 2001. The goal of the NTDR is to reduce illness and mortality due to injury by centralizing the data of almost every single casualty in Israel. The data is analysed for routine quality control of the trauma-care system as well as systematic analyses for research purposes. One of the goals of the research and the conclusions drawn from it is to help hospitals understand how to make decisions and prioritize when they are faced trauma and mass-casualty events.

“Research centers such as ours exist around the world”, explains Dr Kobi Peleg, Director of the Center. “But the ‘added value’ that we have in Israel is that much of our data centers around mass-casualty events due to terror. Therefore a lot of the research we are engaged in focuses on understanding the injuries that come from terror with the goal of aiding hospitals to plan accordingly for these injuries should a terror attack occur. In addition, in comparison to other countries, over 90% of the hospitals in Israel are included in the program, allowing for a much more extensive collection of data”.

Dr Peleg gives an example of a lesson that was learned from recent terror-related events. “We found that blood vessel injuries were eight more times as common in the casualties of this type of trauma than in other casualties. This finding is important because hospitals need to immediately call in extra staff when a mass-casualty happens. Knowing that a case of terror is more likely to cause a blood vessel injury than, say, a motor-vehicle accident, will enable hospital management to call in this specialty as soon as they hear that an act of terror has occurred. This allows them to be as prepared as possible”.

With over one hundred studies published by the Center, Dr Peleg is proud of Israel’s contribution to medical research. “Israel has a responsibility to share its experience, data and knowledge with countries across the world. Although we’d obviously rather not have this experience, we can utilize it positively to ultimately benefit humankind”.

Tami Benmayer

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