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עמוד בית
Mon, 20.05.24

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October 2020
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.

Emil Abd El-Qader MD, Lilach Israeli-Shani MD, Gali Epstein Shochet PhD, Zamir Dovrish MD, Daniel A. King MD, David Dahan MD, Ori Wand and David Shitrit MD

Background: Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience frequent exacerbations and need to be hospitalized, resulting in an economic and social burden. Although data exist regarding reasons of frequent hospitalizations, there is no data available about the impact on the length of stay (LOS).

Objectives: To characterize the causes of prolonged hospitalizations in COPD patients.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of patients who were diagnosed and treated in the pulmonary department for severe COPD exacerbations. All patient demographic data and medical history were collected. Data regarding the disease severity were also collected (including Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD] criteria, pulmonologist follow-up, prior hospitalizations, and LOS).

Results: The study comprised 200 patients, average age 69.5 ± 10.8 years, 61% males. Of these patients, 89 (45%) were hospitalized for up to 4 days, 111 (55%) for 5 days or more, and 34 (17%) for more than 7 days. Single patients had longer LOS compared with married patients (48% vs. 34%, P = 0.044). Multivariate analysis showed that the number of prior hospital admissions in the last year was a predictor of LOS (P = 0.038, odds ratio [OR] = 0.807, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 0.659–0.988), as well as the use of non-invasive respiratory support by bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) during the hospitalization (P = 0.024, OR = 4.662, 95%CI = 1.229–17.681).

Conclusions: Fewer previous hospitalizations due to COPD exacerbations and the need for non-invasive respiratory support by BiPAP were found as predictors of longer LOS.

Haim Shmuely MD, Shimon Topaz MD, Rita Berdinstein PhD, Jacob Yahav MD, and Ehud Melzer MD

Background: Antimicrobial resistance is the main determinant for Helicobacter pylori treatment failure. Regional antimicrobial susceptibility testing is essential for appropriate antibiotic selection to achieve high eradication rates.

Objectives: To assess primary and secondary H. pylori resistance in isolates recovered from Israeli naïve and treatment failures. To identify predictors of resistance.

Methods: In this retrospective study, in vitro activity of isolated H. pylori in Israel was tested against metronidazole, clarithromycin, tetracycline, amoxicillin, and levofloxacin in 128 isolates: 106 from treatment failures and 22 from naïve untreated patients. The minimal inhibitory concentration values were determined according to the Etest instructions. Treatment failures previously failed at least one treatment regimen.

Results: No resistance to amoxicillin and tetracycline was detected. Resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin was high in H. pylori isolates both from treated and untreated patients: 68.9%, 68.2% for metronidazole (P = 0.95); 53.8%, 59.1% for clarithromycin (P = 0.64), respectively. Dual resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole was seen in 45.3% and 50%, respectively (P = 0.68). Resistance to levofloxacin was detected in two (1.9%) isolates from treated patients. Simultaneous resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole, and levofloxacin was seen in an isolate from a treated patient. Age was the only predictor of resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin.

Conclusion: The resistance rates to both single and dual metronidazole and clarithromycin in isolates recovered from both Israeli naïve and treated patients is high. Low resistance renders levofloxacin an attractive option for second or third line treatment. Therapeutic outcome would benefit from susceptibility testing after treatment failure.

September 2020
Anna Shklovsky-Kordi MD, Renana Gelernter MD, Matitiahu Berkovitch MD, Zahi Dagan MD and Eran Kozer MD

Background: Acetaminophen is the most common drug involved in pediatric poisonings, both intentionally and accidentally, and is the leading cause of acute liver failure among all age groups.

Objectives: To define the characteristics of patients admitted to a pediatric emergency department (ED) where serum acetaminophen concentrations were measured, and to determine which variables are associated with significant risk of acetaminophen toxicity.

Methods: Acetaminophen serum concentrations were measured, in a retrospective case series, of patients younger than 18 years who had been admitted to the ED at Shamir Medical Center between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2015.

Results: During the study period 180,174 children were admitted to the ED. Acetaminophen serum concentrations were measured in 209 (0.12%) patients. Mean age was 12.4 ± 5.9 years. Elevated liver enzymes were found in 12 patients, 5 of whom had documented acute liver injury. All five were older than 11years.Two cases of acute liver injury were attributable to acetaminophen ingestion. In both cases the cause was intentional overdose. Univariate analysis showed a significant (P < 0.05) correlation between detectable acetaminophen blood level and a positive history of drug or acetaminophen ingestion, and suicide attempt. Not all children with non-severe acetaminophen poisoning had been diagnosed during the study period. A positive history of acetaminophen ingestion was associated with a 28-fold higher risk for detectable acetaminophen blood level.

Conclusions: In the absence of a positive history of acetaminophen ingestion and in young children with accidental intoxication, the risk of hepatotoxicity is relatively low.


Eliyakim Hershkop MD, Mordechai A Levin MD, Jonathan Nuriel MA, Sheldon I. Hershkop MD and Eyal Fruchter MD

Background: Dependence on technology and electronic media devices (EMDs) is a significant phenomenon of modern life with many people experiencing adverse symptoms during abstention. Orthodox Jews abstain from using all forms of EMDs for 25 consecutive hours every week on the Sabbath but do not appear to experience significant adverse reactions during this abstention.

Objectives: To better examine whether Sabbath observant Jews experience fewer and less severe adverse symptoms while abstaining from EMDs on the Sabbath compared to weekdays.

Methods: Ten Sabbath observant Jews abstained from using all forms of EMDs for 25 hours on a Sabbath and again on a weekday. At the end of each 25-hour period participants completed a 12-item Likert-type scale self-assessment of 1–5, once as a report of their condition at 10:00 and again after 25 hours of abstaining. The authors compared the mean results of Sabbath and weekday using Wilcoxon signed ranks test. P ≤ 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Overall, discomfort on Sabbath was less than on weekdays. A statistically significant decrease on the Sabbath was found at both the 10:00 reporting time and after 25 hours in anxiety, restlessness, thoughts and plans of using devices, and overall difficulty to abstain. Significance was found for feelings of not knowing what to do with time (10:00) and moodiness and irritability, being drawn to devices, and cravings achieved significance (after 25 hours).

Conclusions: Sabbath observant Jews reported statistically significant less adverse reactions while abstaining from EMDs on the Sabbath compared to on a weekday.

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.

Raanan Meyer MD, Gabriel Levin MD, Natav Hendin BSc and Eldad Katorza MD

Background: Channeling medical resources for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) management can potentially endanger routine healthcare practices. As a preventive measure, a department of obstetrics and gynecology in Israel constructed a separate, designated complex for its COVID-19-exposed patients.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic infection control measures on obstetric care in the obstetrical emergency department and delivery unit.

Methods: The authors collected data retrospectively from February 2020 to March 2020 and compared it to data of a parallel period in 2019.

Results: From 1 February 2020 to 28 March 2020, 3897 women were referred to the emergency department (ED), compared to 4067 the previous year. Mean duration of treatment until decision and referral indications did not differ between 2020 and 2019 (207 vs. 220 minutes, P = 0.26; urgent referrals 58.8% vs. 59.2%, P = 0.83). A per-week comparison showed a significant reduction in ED referrals only in the last week of the period (337 [2020] vs. 515 [2019], P < 0.001). The proportion of women admitted to the delivery unit in active labor was significantly higher in the last three weeks (39.1% vs. 28.2%, P = 0.005). During February and March 2020, 1666 women delivered, compared to 1654 during February and March 2019. The proportion of types and modes of delivery did not differ. In a per-week comparison, the number of deliveries did not differ (mean 208 vs. 206, P = 0.88).

Conclusions: With timely preparation and proper management, negative impact of COVID-19 can be reduced in obstetrical emergency departments.

July 2020
Michal Levmore-Tamir MD, Giora Weiser MD, Elihay Berliner MD, Matityahu Erlichman MD, Carmit Avnon Ziv MD, Floris Levy-Khademi MD

Background: Stress hyperglycemia (SH) is a common finding in patients in pediatric emergency departments (PED) and has been related to increased morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of SH among children visiting the PED. To identify which diseases predispose patients to SH and whether they indicate a worse outcome.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the medical records of all children aged 0–18 years who visited the PED during the years 2010–2014 and who had a glucose level of ≥ 150 mg/dl. Data collected included age, gender, weight, blood glucose level, presence or absence of a pre-existing or a new diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and previous treatment with medications affecting blood glucose levels or with intravenous fluids containing dextrose. Data were collected regarding hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, discharge diagnosis, and survival status.

Results: The study population included 1245 children with SH, which comprised 2.6% of all patients whose blood glucose level was measured in the PED during the study period. The mean age of children with SH was 49 months; 709 (56.9%) were male. The mean blood glucose level was 184 mg/dl. The rate of hospitalization was 57.8%. The mean duration of hospital stay was 5.6 days and mortality rate was 0.96%. The majority were diagnosed with a respiratory illness.

Conclusions: SH is a common phenomenon among children evaluated in the PED and is associated with a high incidence of hospitalization. It may serve as an additional clinical indicator of disease severity.

June 2020
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Mustafa Gabarin MD, Itamar Loewenstein MD, Sivan Letourneau MD, David Zahler MD, Aviram Hochstadt MD, Yishay Szekely MD, Shmuel Banai MD and Yacov Shacham MD

Background: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for primary reperfusion in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has largely been superseded byf primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and is estimated to be performed in ≤ 5% of STEMI cases.

Objectives: To compare early CABG (within 30 days following admission) and primary PCI outcomes following STEMI.

Methods: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized with acute STEMI for early reperfusion therapy between January 2008 and June 2016. Short- and long-term outcomes were assessed for patients with STEMI undergoing primary PCI vs. early CABG as reperfusion therapy.

Results: The study comprised 1660 STEMI patients, 38 of whom (2.3%) underwent CABG within 30 days of presentation. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was more than twice as high in the CABG group (7.5%) than in the PCI group (3.3%); however, it did not reach statistical significance. Similar results were demonstrated for mortality rates beyond 30 days (22% vs. 14%, P = 0.463). All patients undergoing CABG beyond 72 hours following admission survived past 2 years. Multivariate analysis found no differences between the two groups in long-term mortality risk. propensity score matched long-term mortality comparison (30 days–2 years) yielded a 22% mortality rate in the CABG groups compared with 14% in the PCI group (P < 0.293).

Conclusion: Early CABG was performed in only a minority of STEMI patients. This high-risk patient population demonstrated worse outcomes compared to patients undergoing PCI. Performing surgery beyond 72 hours following admission may be associated with lower risk.

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.

April 2020
Osama Tanous MD, Tal Dujovny MD, Gabriel Hertzel MD, Ariel Koren MD and Carina Levin MD PhD

Background: Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disorder of variable origin that results in bleeding and decreased platelet count. Autoimmune abnormalities have been described in patients with malignancies including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma but are rarely described in patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Objectives: To describe an unusual presentation of Hodgkin's lymphoma in an unusual age and alarm pediatricians of the challenging diagnosis.  

Methods: We present two cases that highlight an unusual clinical presentation of childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma occurring at an atypical age.

Results: Over a 4-year period, two children aged 5 and 6 years were admitted for suspected ITP, both had cervical lymphadenopathy. Bone marrow examination showed no evidence of tumor or fibrosis. Biopsy of the lymph node was possible only after administration of intravenous immunoglobulins and normalization of the platelet count. Platelet counts increased after initiation of chemotherapy.

Conclusions: The identification of the clinical presentation of ITP as a possible presentation of Hodgkin's lymphoma is important to facilitate timely diagnosis and management.

March 2020
Yigal Helviz MD, Tehila Hajaj MD, Ayala Burger PhD, Phillip D. Levin MD BChir and Sharon Einav MD MSc

Background: The use of a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) was examined for different clinical indications in the critically ill.

Objectives: To describe a single center experience with HFNC in post-extubation critical care patients by using clinical indices.

Methods: In this single center study, the authors retrospectively evaluated the outcome of patients who were connected to the HFNC after their extubation in the intensive care unit (ICU). At 48 hours after the extubation, the patients were divided into three groups: the group weaned from HFNC, the ongoing HFNC group, and the already intubated group.

Results: Of the 80 patients who were included, 42 patients were without HFNC support at 48 hours after extubation, 22 and 16 patients were with ongoing HFNC support and already intubated by this time frame, respectively. The mean ROX index (the ratio of SpO2 divided by fraction of inspired oxygen to respiratory rate) at 6 hours of the weaned group was 12.3 versus 9.3 in the ongoing HFNC group, and 8.5 in the reintubated group (P = 0.02). The groups were significantly different by the ICU length of stay, tracheostomy rate, and mortality.

Conclusions: Among patients treated with HFNC post-extubation of those who had a higher ROX index were less likely to undergo reintubation.

February 2020
Lev Freidkin MD, Uri Landes MD, Nili Schamroth Pravda MD, Dan Aravot MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD and Aviv Mager MD

Background: Post-pericardiotomy syndrome (PPS) is a major cause of pericarditis, yet data on the risk of recurrence are limited, and the impact of steroids and colchicine in this context is unknown.

Objectives: To examine the effect of prednisone and colchicine on the rate of recurrence of PPS.

Methods: Medical files of patients diagnosed with PPS were reviewed to extract demographic, echocardiographic, X-ray imaging, and follow-up data.

Results: The study comprised 132 patients (57% men), aged 27–86 years. Medical treatment included prednisone in 80 patients, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents in 41 patients, colchicine monotherapy in 2 patients, and no anti-inflammatory therapy in 9 patients. Fifty-nine patients were given colchicine for prevention of recurrence. The patients were followed for 5–110 months (median 64 months). Recurrent episodes occurred in 15 patients (11.4%), 10 patients had a single episode, 4 patients had two episodes, and one patient had three episodes. The rate of recurrence was lower in patients receiving colchicine compared to patients who did not (8.5% vs. 13.7%), and in patients not receiving vs. receiving prednisone (7.7% vs. 13.8%) but the differences were non-significant. Twenty-three patients died and there were no recurrence-related deaths.

Conclusions: The rate of recurrence after PPS is low and multiple recurrences are rare. The survival of patients with recurrent PPS is excellent. Prednisone pre-treatment was associated with a numerically higher rate of recurrence and colchicine treatment with a numerically lower rate, but the differences were non-significant.

January 2020
Osher Cohen MD and Enrique Freud MD

Falling from a height accounts for 14.1% of all hospital admissions for traumatic injury. In 5% of cases, the injury is severe or critical, and in 1.5%, it is fatal. The dangers of falling have been recognized since time immemorial. Indeed, the Bible instructs us to build a parapet around the roof of our home so that, “…you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from it” (Deuteronomy 22:8). This commandment highlights the relatively simple and practical means by which we can prevent falls. It is also one of a series of ethical laws that are presented to help us understand and obey the larger Biblical precepts of loving one’s neighbor and guarding the sanctity of life. The concept teaches us that it is the responsibility of all individuals to be cognizant of others and to avoid harming people through negligence or carelessness. The aim of this article is to explain the commandment to build a parapet in the context of the risk of falling from a height and to expand on its wider implications. The present work was prompted in part by the alarming increase in fatal and near-fatal accidents in Israel in two particular populations.

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