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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

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September 2020
Ella Schwarzmann Aley-Raz MD, Gil Talmon MD, Marina Peniakov MD, Jamal Hasanein MD, Clari Felszer-Fisch MD and Scott A. Weiner MD

Background: Neonatal hypothermia (< 36°C) has been associated with both neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To develop a multifactorial approach to reduce the incidence of neonatal hypothermia at admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Methods: The approach involved a detailed quality improvement (QI) plan, which included the use of occlusive wrapping and exothermic mattresses as well as higher delivery and operating room environmental temperatures. The improvement plan was implemented over a 10-month period. Retrospective comparison to the same 10-month period during the previous year assessed the effectiveness of the approach in reducing the incidence of admission hypothermia.

Results: The QI project included 189 patients. These patients were compared to 180 patients during the control period. The characteristics of the patient groups were similar and included preterm infants, who were subsequently analyzed as a subgroup. We found a significant reduction in the incidence of hypothermia, which was most profound for the subgroup of premature infants born at < 32 weeks gestation. Neonatal hyperthermia was identified as an unintended consequence of the project, and subsequently improved after initiating simple preventive measures.

Conclusions: Occlusive wrapping, exothermic mattresses, and higher delivery and operating room environmental temperature may be successful in reducing admission neonatal hypothermia

August 2020
Máté Hidvégi PhD and Michele Nichelatti PhD

Background: The 2019 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic continued into 2020, and the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) associated death toll increased.

Objectives: To analyze COVID-19 death rates in European countries or regions to determine whether there was a significant association between bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination policy and lower rates of COVID-19 related deaths.

Methods: Certain Northern European countries or regions had low death rates regardless of BCG policy. The authors assumed the consumption of foods containing salmiak (NH4Cl) was a common and peculiar cause of the reduced COVID-19 related death rates in these countries, because NH4Cl is a known lysosomotropic agent, which has been indicated to inhibit or prevent SARS-CoV infection. To check the possible effectiveness of salmiak consumption against COVID-19 related death, the authors used a linear regression model with the death rate as the dependent variable and BCG-policy and salmiak consumption score as independent variables.

Results: Using least squares regression and a robust standard error algorithm, the authors found a significant effect exerted by the independent variables (P < 0.0005 for BCG and P = 0.001 for salmiak). Salmiak score alone was significant (P = 0.016) when using least squares regression with robust error algorithm. 

Conclusions: The results seem to confirm an association between BCG-positive vaccination policy and salmiak consumption, and lower death rates from COVID-19. Implementing BCG vaccination policy and fortification of foods with salmiak (NH4Cl) may have a significant impact on the control of SARS-CoV epidemic.

May 2020
Edward Itelman MD, Yishay Wasserstrum MD, Amitai Segev MD, Chen Avaky MD, Liat Negru MD, Dor Cohen MD, Natia Turpashvili MD, Sapir Anani MD, Eyal Zilber MD, Nir Lasman MD, Ahlam Athamna MD, Omer Segal MD, Tom Halevy MD, Yehuda Sabiner MD, Yair Donin MD, Lital Abraham MD, Elisheva Berdugo MD, Adi Zarka MD, Dahlia Greidinger MD, Muhamad Agbaria MD, Noor Kitany MD, Eldad Katorza MD, Gilat Shenhav-Saltzman MD and Gad Segal MD

Background: In February 2020, the World Health Organisation designated the name COVID-19 for a clinical condition caused by a virus identified as a cause for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. The virus subsequently spread worldwide, causing havoc to medical systems and paralyzing global economies. The first COVID-19 patient in Israel was diagnosed on 27 February 2020.

Objectives: To present our findings and experiences as the first and largest center for COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: The current analysis included all COVID-19 patients treated in Sheba Medical Center from February 2020 to April 2020. Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological data gathered during their hospitalization are presented.

Results: Our 162 patient cohort included mostly adult (mean age of 52 ± 20 years) males (65%). Patients classified as severe COVID-19 were significantly older and had higher prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes. They also had significantly higher white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low folic acid blood levels were more common amongst severe patients (18.2 vs. 12.9 vs. 9.8, P = 0.014). The rate of immune compromised patients (12%) in our cohort was also higher than in the general population. The rate of deterioration from moderate to severe disease was high: 9% necessitated non-invasive oxygenation and 15% were intubated and mechanically ventilated. The mortality rate was 3.1%.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients present a challenge for healthcare professionals and the whole medical system. We hope our findings will assist other providers and institutions in their care for these patients.

Gad Segal MD, Dror Mevorach MD, Avishay Elis MD and Dror Dicker MD and COVID-19 Task Force on behalf of the Israeli Society of Internal Medicine
Yael Peled MD, Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, and Zohar Dotan MD

Background: Heart transplantation (HT) success rate is limited by a high incidence of cancer post-HT. Data on kidney cancer following solid organ transplantation, especially HT, are limited, and only a few cases have been reported.

Objectives: To report a unique case series of detected kidney cancer following HT.

Methods: Between 1997 and 2018, 265 patients who underwent HT were enrolled and prospectively followed in the HT registry of the Sheba Medical Center.

Results: The series included 5 patients, 4 men and a woman (age range 35–50 years at HT). The patients were diagnosed with kidney tumors 6–11 years after HT (age range at diagnosis 40–72 years). Two of the men were identical twin brothers. At HT four patients received induction therapy with anti-thymocyte globulin and all received an initial immunosuppressive regimen based on cyclosporine. All male HT recipients had a history of heavy smoking. Two male patients developed allograft vasculopathy, but all had preserved heart function. The 72-year-old woman developed a kidney tumor of the native kidney 5 years after re-HT and kidney transplantation. Two patients had features of multifocal papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and eventually underwent bilateral nephrectomy, while another patient underwent left partial nephrectomy with preserved renal function.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case series study describing kidney tumors following HT. With the improving outcomes and life expectancy of HT patients, a better understanding of the factors that determine cancer risk is of the utmost importance and may have a major impact on the non-cardiac surveillance.

April 2020
Nir Horesh MD, Yasmin Abu-Ghanem MD, Tomer Erlich MD, Danny Rosin MD, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS, Dorit E. Zilberman MD, Jacob Ramon MD and Zohar A. Dotan MD

Background: Pancreatic injuries during nephrectomy are rare, despite the relatively close anatomic relation between the kidneys and the pancreas. The data regarding the incidence and outcome of pancreatic injuries are scarce.

Objectives: To assess the frequency and the clinical significance of pancreatic injuries during nephrectomy.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of all patients who underwent nephrectomy over a period of 30 years (1987–2016) in a large tertiary medical center. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data were collected and analyzed.

Results: A total of 1674 patients underwent nephrectomy during the study period. Of those, 553 (33%) and 294 patients (17.5%) underwent left nephrectomy and radical left nephrectomy, respectively. Among those, four patients (0.2% of the total group, 0.7% of the left nephrectomy group, and 1.36% of the radical left nephrectomy) experienced iatrogenic injuries to the pancreas. None of the injuries were recognized intraoperatively. All patients were treated with drains in an attempt to control the pancreatic leak and one patient required additional surgical interventions. Average length of stay was 65 days (range 15–190 days). Mean follow-up was 23.3 months (range 7.7–115 months).

Conclusions: Pancreatic injuries during nephrectomy are rare and carry a significant risk for postoperative morbidity.

March 2020
Elena Fridman MD MSc, Liran Peretz-Aizenman RN MN and Abed N. Azab PhD

Background: Opposition to neonatal Hepatitis B vaccination is a growing trend in Israel.

Objectives: To assess the sociodemographic factors and attitudes associated with non-vaccination of term singleton newborns.

Methods: This prospective, pair-matched, controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary university-affiliated hospital. Data on maternal sociodemographic parameters, delivery, and infant care practices were gathered. Knowledge and references of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, vaccination schedule, and health government policies were assessed. A follow-up telephone survey was completed at the age of 7 weeks postpartum regarding vaccine catch-up rate.

Results: Mothers in the study group were mostly Jewish white middle class married multiparous women with some higher education. Hepatitis B serology was not tested in most. Higher rates of rooming-in and exclusive breastfeeding were observed. Knowledge about HBV was stated, multiple sources of information were significantly associated with newborn non-vaccination. Many objected to the timing of the vaccine and its necessity. Multiple medical encounters are viewed as missed opportunities.

Conclusions: Multiple sources of vaccine information are associated with non-vaccination. Medical encounters prior and post-delivery should be used for vaccination education and may improve vaccination coverage.

February 2020
Hussein Zaitoon MD, Ellen Bamberger MD, Liat Yaniv MD, Bracha Mendelson MD, Isaac Srugo MD and Irina Chistyakov MD

Background: The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-13 (PCV-13) has reduced the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Objective: To characterize true positive blood cultures of children who presented to our hospital following implementation of the PCV-13 vaccine.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on positive blood cultures of children presenting with fever from 2010–2017. Subjects were divided into two age groups: a younger group 3–36 months and an older group 3–18 years. Patients were classified as either having or not having a focus of infection at the time of their bacteremia. Pneumococcal isolates were typed at Israel's Streptococcal Reference Laboratory.

Results: The samples included 94 true positive blood cultures. Focal infection with concomitant bacteremia was more common than bacteremia without a focus both overall: 67/94 (71%) vs. 27/94 (28.7%), P <0.001 as well as in the two groups: 32/48 (66%) vs. 16/48 (33%), P = 0.02 in the younger group and 35/46 (76%) vs. 11/46 (24%), P = 0.001 in the older group. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common pathogen overall, 27/94 (29%), and in the younger group, 21/48 (44%), but rare in the older group, 6/46 (13%). In the latter, Brucella species predominated, 12/46 (26%), along with Staphylococcus aureus 12/46 (26%).

Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with other studies reporting decreased pneumococcal bacteremia, bacteremia primarily accompanying focal infection, and changing etiological agents among PCV-13-vaccinated children. Brucella species was prominent in older children with osteoarticular infections. Ongoing surveillance is warranted to better understand the implications of PCV-13.

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