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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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January 2021
Ariel Tenenbaum MD, Diego Glasbauer MD, and Isaiah D. Wexler MD PhD

The attention of the world is focused on the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. There is s general awareness that certain population groups are at greater risk. However, some other populations may be transparent and may not be receiving the attention they warrant. We focused on those with intellectual disability explaining why they are vulnerable during the current pandemic and require special attention

Mathilda Mandel MD, Michael Gurevich PhD, Michal Mandelboim PhD, Howard Amital MD, and Anat Achiron MD PhD

Background: During the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak our blood bank developed protocols to guarantee accurate blood components to COVID-19 patients.

Objectives: To provide convalescent whole blood donor screening strategies for patients recovering from COVID-19.

Methods: We recruited COVID-19 recovering patients who met our defined inclusion criteria for whole blood donation. All blood units were screened for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and SARS-COV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the S1 domain.

Results: We screened 180 blood units from patients recovering from COVID-19. All results were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and 87.2% were positive for SARS-COV-2 IgG antibodies in the plasma.

Conclusions: Blood component units from recovering COVID-19 patients are safe. Plasma units with positive IgG antibodies could serve as an efficient passive immunization for COVID-19 patients. Moreover, in the face of increased transfusion demand for treatment of anemia and coagulation dysfunction in critical ill COVID-19 patients, red blood cells units and random platelets units from convalescent donors can be safely transfused.

December 2020
David Ovadya MD, Keren Bachar MD, Michael Peled MD, Maya Skudowitz MD, and Arie Wollner MD

Background: Patients diagnosed with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) who deteriorate to respiratory failure and require mechanical ventilation may later need to be weaned from the ventilator and undergo a rehabilitation process. The rate of weaning COVID-19 patients from mechanical ventilation is unknown.

Objective: To present our experience with ventilator weaning of COVID-19 patients in a dedicated facility.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 18 patients hospitalized in a COVID-19 dedicated ventilator weaning unit.

Results: Eighteen patients were hospitalized in the dedicated unit between 6 April and 19 May 2020. Of these, 88% (16/18) were weaned and underwent decannulation, while two patients deteriorated and were re-admitted to the intensive care unit. The average number of days spent in our department was 12. There was no statistically significant correlation between patient characteristics and time to weaning from ventilation or with the time to decannulation.

Conclusions: Despite the high mortality of COVID-19 patients who require mechanical ventilation, most of the patients in our cohort were weaned in a relatively short period of time. Further large-scale studies are necessary to assess the cost effectiveness of dedicated COVID-19 departments for ventilator weaning.

November 2020
Dana Ekstein MD PhD, Iris Noyman MD, Firas Fahoum MD MSc, Moshe Herskovitz MD, Ilan Linder MD, Bruria Ben Zeev MD, and Sara Eyal PhD

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and its management in patients with epilepsy can be complex. Prescribers should consider potential effects of investigational anti-COVID-19 drugs on seizures, immunomodulation by anti-seizure medications (ASMs), changes in ASM pharmacokinetics, and the potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The goal of the Board of the Israeli League Against Epilepsy (the Israeli Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy, ILAE) was to summarize the main principles of the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 in patients with epilepsy. This guide was based on current literature, drug labels, and drug interaction resources. We summarized the available data related to the potential implications of anti-COVID-19 co-medication in patients treated with ASMs. Our recommendations refer to drug selection, dosing, and patient monitoring. Given the limited availability of data, some recommendations are based on general pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic principles and might apply to additional future drug combinations as novel treatments emerge. They do not replace evidence-based guidelines, should those become available. Awareness to drug characteristics that increase the risk of interactions can help adjust anti-COVID-19 and ASM treatment for patients with epilepsy

Eyal Aviran MD, Shachar Laks MD FACS, Haggai Benvenisti MD, Saed Khalilieh MD, Dan Assaf MD, Nimrod Aviran MD, David Hazzan MD, Yoram Klein MD, Amir Cohen MD, Mordechai Gutman MD, Aviram Nissan MD, and Lior Segev MD

Background: As part of the effort to control the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outbreak, strict emergency measures, including prolonged national curfews, have been imposed. Even in countries where healthcare systems still functioned, patients avoided visiting emergency departments (EDs) because of fears of exposure to COVID-19.

Objective: To describe the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on admissions of surgical patients from the ED and characteristics of urgent operations performed.

Methods: A prospective registry study comparing all patients admitted for acute surgical and trauma care between 15 March and 14 April 2020 (COVID-19) with patients admitted in the parallel time a year previously (control) was conducted.

Results: The combined cohort included 606 patients. There were 25% fewer admissions during the COVID-19 period (P < 0.0001). The COVID-19 cohort had a longer time interval from onset of symptoms (P < 0.001) and presented in a worse clinical condition as expressed by accelerated heart rate (P = 0.023), leukocyte count disturbances (P = 0.005), higher creatinine, and CRP levels (P < 0.001) compared with the control cohort. More COVID-19 patients required urgent surgery (P = 0.03) and length of ED stay was longer (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 epidemic, fewer patients presented to the ED requiring acute surgical care. Those who did, often did so in a delayed fashion and in worse clinical condition. More patients required urgent surgical interventions compared to the control period. Governments and healthcare systems should emphasize to the public not to delay seeking medical attention, even in times of crises

October 2020
Robert Yanko DMD, Valeri Klitinich DMD, Yaron Haviv DMD PhD, David Gozal MD, Doron J. Aframian DMD PhD and Andra Ratman DMD

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), is thought to be transmitted via droplets and aerosols, and was detected in saliva of infected individuals. These droplets from the upper airway may infect the inhalation sedation mask and tubing. The authors determined the adequate measures needed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by nitrous-oxide (N2O) system during inhalation sedation in dentistry and provided evidence on mask and tubing sterilization. Additional measures to protect patients and healthcare workers from COVID-19 that may be transmitted by the inhalation sedation system are discussed. The authors recommend minimal use of a N2O system during inhalation sedation in dentistry. In case of need, the practitioners should have more than one scavenger kit and nasal masks for each N2O/O2 mixer. Biologic barriers should be mounted between the scavenger's tubing and the central evacuation system. Strict cleansing and sterilization should be performed for all parts of the N2O system. The use a disposable scavenger system and nasal mask should be considered as a viable option

 

Keren Tzukert MD, Roy Abel MD, Irit Mor Yosef Levi MD, Ittamar Gork MD, Liron Yosha Orpaz MD PhD, Henny Azmanov MD, and Michal Dranitzki Elhalel MD MsC
Dana Elhadad MD PhD, Yotam Bronstein MD, Moshe Yana, Harel Baris MD, Uriel Levinger MD, Maurice Shapiro MD, and Nechama Sharon MD

Background: There is limited clinical information on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients in Israel.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics, outcomes, and potential associations of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective study of 58 consecutive laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to Laniado Hospital, Israel, between 14 March 2020 and 14 May 2020. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data on admission were collected and analyzed, and the association to subsequent respiratory failure was assessed.

Results: Mean age of patients was 70.7 ± 16.9 years (53% males, 47% females.); 74% had at least one co-morbidity. Most patients were of Jewish Ashkenazi descent. During hospitalization 15 patients (mean age 78.18 ± 10.35 years); 80% male, 73% Sephardi descent developed respiratory failure rates of 60% occurring on average 10.6 days following intubation. Laboratory tests at admission displayed a significant increase in C-reactive protein (CRP) and creatine kinase (CK) and a decrease in absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) in patients who eventually developed respiratory failure (163.97 mg/L, 340.87 IU/L, 0.886 K/μl vs. 50.01 mg/L and 123.56 IU/L, 1.28 K/μl, respectively). Multivariate logistic analysis revealed an integrated parameter of CRP, CK, and ALC highly correlated with respiratory failure. Receiver operating characteristic curve revealed the area under the curve of CRP, CK, and ALC and the integrated parameter to be 0.910, 0.784, and 0.754, respectively. CRP was the strongest predictor to correlate with respiratory failure.

Conclusions: CRP, CK, and ALC levels on admission could possibly be used to detect high-risk patients prone to develop respiratory failure.

Sol Jaworowski MBBS FRANZCP, Mark Weiser MD, Cornelius Gropp MD, and Moria Malka MD
September 2020
Naftali Justman MD, Gilad Shahak MD, Ola Gutzeit MD, Dikla Ben Zvi MD, Yuval Ginsberg MD, Ido Solt MD, Dana Vitner MD, Ron Beloosesky MD, Zeev Weiner MD and Yaniv Zipori MD

Background: The World Health Organization classified coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) as a pandemic and recommends strict restrictions regarding most aspects of daily activities.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the pandemic has changed the prenatal care and pregnancy outcome in pregnant women without COVID-19.

Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study to describe changes in outpatient clinic visits and to compare the rates of cesarean and instrumental deliveries between two periods of time: March–April 2020 (during the COVID-19 outbreak) with March–April of the preceding year, 2019.

Results: During the COVID-19 outbreak, visits to obstetric triage, gynecologic triage, high-risk clinic, and ultrasound units decreased by 36.4%, 34.7%, 32.8%, and 18.1%, respectively. The medical center experienced a 17.8% drop in the total number of births (610 births) compared with March and April 2019 (742 births). During the outbreak women were more likely to be nulliparous (33.3% vs. 27.6%, P = 0.02) and present with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy (7.5% vs. 4%, P = 0.005) or gestational diabetes (13% vs. 10%, P = 0.03). More epidural analgesia was used (83.1% vs. 77.1%, P = 0.006). There were more operative vaginal deliveries during the outbreak (16.7% vs. 6.8%, P = 0.01). All other maternal and neonatal outcomes were comparable between the two periods.

Conclusions: The medical facility experienced a major decline in all aspects of the routine obstetrics activities during the time of the pandemic. The higher rate of operative vaginal deliveries among nulliparous may be associated with the pandemic effect on the rate of high-risk patients

August 2020
Yuval Levy MD MHA, Yael Frenkel Nir MD, Avinoah Ironi MD, Hindy Englard RN MSc, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Galia Rahav MD, Arnon Afek MD and Ehud Grossman MD

Background: Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, is a tertiary hospital located in the center of Israel. It is the largest hospital in Israel and was the first to face coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients in the country at the beginning of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on our triage method in the emergency department (ED). Our goal was to keep the main hospitalization buildings clean of infection by separating COVID-19 positive patients from COVID-19 negative patients.

Methods: We divided our ED into two separate sections: a regular non-COVID-19 ED and an advanced biological ED. We created clear protocols of triage for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. We reviewed the data of patients admitted to our ED during the month of March and analyzed the results of our triage method in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients.

Results: During the month of March 2020, 7957 patients were referred to our ED. Among them 2004 were referred to the biological ED and 5953 were referred to the regular ED. Of the 2004 patients referred to the biological ED, 1641 (81.8%) were sampled for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction of whom 143 (8.7%) were positive. Only two COVID-19 positive patients unintentionally entered the main clean hospital, making our triage almost full proof.

Conclusions: Our triage method was successful in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients and maintained the regular hospital clean of COVID-19 allowing treatment continuation of regular non-COVID-19 patients.

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