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עמוד בית
Mon, 17.06.24

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June 2024
Ehud Jacobzon MD, Avital Lifschitz RN, Danny Fink MD, Tal Hasin MD

Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are a staple element in contemporary treatment of advanced heart failure. LVAD surgeries are mostly done in heart transplantations centers, as a destination therapy or as a bridge to heart transplantation.

Objectives: To describe our step-by-step experience in establishing and implementing a new LVAD program in a non-heart transplant center. To give insight to our short- and long-term results of our first 25 LVAD patients.

Methods: Preliminary steps included identifying the need for a new program and establishing the leading team. Next is defining protocols for pre-operative evaluation, operating room, post-operative management, and outpatient follow-up. The leading team needs to educate other relevant units in the hospital that will be involved in the care of these patients. It is essential to work in collaboration with a heart transplant center from the very beginning. Patient selection is of major importance especially in the early experience. Initially “low risk” patients should be enrolled.

Results: We describe our first 25 LVAD patients. Our first five patients all survived beyond 2 years, with no major complications. Overall, there was one operative death due to massive GI bleeding. There were four late deaths due to septic events.

Conclusions: Establishing a new LVAD program can be successful also with small- and medium-size programs. With careful and meticulous planning LVAD implantation can be extended to more centers thus offering an excellent solution for advanced heart failure patients.

March 2024
Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD, Dina Qaraen Saloni MD, Mevaseret Avital MD, Naama Pines MD, Itai Gross MD, Giora Wieser MD, Saar Hashavya MD

Background: Hypothermia, as a sign of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in children and infants older than 90 days is poorly characterized, especially in the post-pneumococcal vaccine era.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of SBI in children and infants presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED) with reported or documented hypothermia.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted of all well-appearing children aged 0–16 years who presented with a diagnosis of hypothermia at two tertiary PEDs from 2010 to 2019.

Results: The study comprised 99 children, 15 (15.2%) age 0–3 months, 71 (71.7%) 3–36 months, and 13 (13.1%) > 36 months. The youngest age group had increased length of stay in the hospital (P < 0.001) and increased rates of pediatric intensive care unit admissions (P < 0.001). Empirical antibiotic coverage was initiated in 80% of the children in the 0–3 months group, 21.1% in the 3–36 months group, and 15.4% in > 36 months (P < 0.001). Only one case of SBI was recorded and no bacteremia or meningitis. Hypothermia of unknown origin was the most common diagnosis in all age groups (34%, 42%, 46%), respectively, followed by bronchiolitis (26%) and hypoglycemia (13.3%) for 0–3 month-old children, unspecified viral infection (20%) and otitis media (7%) for 3–36-month old, and unspecified viral infection (23%) and alcohol intoxication (15.2%) in > 36 months.

Conclusion: There is a low incidence of SBI in well-appearing children presenting to the PED with hypothermia and a benign course and outcome in those older than 3 months.

January 2023
Naama Hermann MD, Pnina Mor CNM PhD, Orit Kaidar-Person MD, Rinat Bernstein-Molho MD, Mali Brodsky RN MSc, Dana Madorsky Feldman MD, Anath A. Flugelman MD MPH MA, Hadar Aboody Nevo MD, Danna Meshoulam Avital MD, Miri Sklair-Levy MD, Eitan Friedman MD PhD, Tanir M. Allweis MD

Background: Population screening for the BRCA mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish women was recently implemented in Israel and is expected to lead to a 10-fold increase in the diagnosis of asymptomatic carriers. Performing the screening follow-up within multidisciplinary dedicated clinics for carriers is recommended for early detection and risk reduction.

Objectives: To determine the availability, capacity, and practices of dedicated screening clinic for BRCA carriers in Israel.

Methods: A telephone-based survey of all public hospitals in Israel was conducted October 2020 to August 2021 to determine whether they had a dedicated clinic. Dedicated clinics were defined as multidisciplinary screening clinics offering at least breast and gynecological screening and risk reducing services on site. The clinic director or nurse navigator answered a questionnaire about screening practices followed by a semi-structured interview.

Results: Of the ten dedicated BRCA clinics found in Israel, nine participated. Approximately 4500 BRCA carriers are currently being followed. No specialized clinics are available in the southern district or in the northernmost half of the northern district of Israel, leading to a disparity between periphery and center. Screening recommendations, although asserted as adhering to international guidelines, vary among clinics including age at initiating of clinical exam, use of adjunct imaging modalities, and follow-up during lactation and after risk reducing surgery.

Conclusions: There is a suboptimal distribution of dedicated clinics for BRCA carriers in Israel. Nationally centralized attempt to create guidelines that will unify screening practices is warranted, especially considering the expected increase in demand.

November 2022
Yehonatan Sherf MD MPH, Dekel Avital MD, Shahar Geva Robinson MD, Natan Arotsker MD, Liat Waldman Radinsky MD, Efrat Chen Hendel MD MPH, Dana Braiman MD, Ahab Hayadri MD, Dikla Akselrod MD, Tal Schlaeffer-Yosef MD, Yasmeen Abu Fraiha MD, Ronen Toledano MD, Nimrod Maimon MD MHA

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent cardiac arrhythmia. Previous studies showed that rhythm and rate control strategies are associated with similar rates of mortality and serious morbidity. Beta blockers (BB) and calcium channel blockers (CCB) are commonly used and the selection between these two medications depends on personal preference.

Objectives: To compare real-time capability of BB and CCB for the treatment of rapid AF and to estimate their efficacy in reducing hospitalization duration.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 306 patients hospitalized at Soroka Hospital during a 5-year period with new onset AF who were treated by a rate control strategy.

Results: A significant difference between the two groups regarding the time (in hours) until reaching a target heart rate below 100 beats/min was observed. BB were found to decrease the heart rate after 5 hours (range 4–14) vs. 8 hours (range 4–18) for CCB (P = 0.009). Patients diagnosed with new-onset AF exhibited shorter duration of hospitalization after therapy with BB compared to CCB (median 72 vs. 96 hours, P = 0.012) in the subgroup of patients discharged with persistent AF. There was no significant difference between CCB and BB regarding the duration of hospitalization (P = 0.4) in the total patient population.

Conclusions: BB therapy is more potent for rapid reduction of the heart rate compared to CCB and demonstrated better efficiency in shortening the duration of hospitalization in a subgroup of patients. This finding should be reevaluated in subsequent research.

October 2022
September 2022
Helit Nakar MD, Alex Sorkin MD, Roy Nadler MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Guy Avital MD, Elon Glassberg MD MHA MBA, Tarif Bader MD MHA MA, Lidar Fridrich MD, Jacob Chen MD MHA MSc, and Avi Benov MD MHA

Background: Pain control in trauma is an integral part of treatment in combat casualty care. More soldiers injured on the battlefield need analgesics for pain than life-saving interventions (LSIs). Early treatment of pain improves outcomes after injury, while inadequate treatment leads to higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Objective: To describe the experience of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Medical Corps with prehospital use of analgesia.

Methods: All cases documented in the IDF-Trauma Registry between January 1997 and December 2019 were examined. Data collection included analgesia administered, mechanism of injury, wound distribution, and life-saving interventions performed.

Results: Of 16,117 patients, 1807 (11.2%) had at least one documented analgesia. Demographics included 91.2% male; median age 21 years. Leading mechanism of injury was penetrating (52.9%). Of injured body regions reported, 46.2% were lower extremity wounds. Most common types of analgesics were morphine (57.2%) and fentanyl (27%). Over the two decades of the study period, types of analgesics given by providers at point of injury (POI) had changed. Fentanyl was introduced in 2013, and by 2019 was given to 39% of patients. Another change was an increase of casualties receiving analgesia from 5–10% until 2010 to 34% by 2019. A total of 824 LSIs were performed on 556 patients (30.8%) receiving analgesia and no adverse events were found in any of the casualties.

Conclusions: Most casualties at POI did not receive any analgesics. The most common analgesics administered were opioids. Over time analgesic administration has gained acceptance and become more commonplace on the battlefield.

Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Dotan Yaari MD MHA, Guy Avital MD, Or Bainhoren MD, and Avi Benov MD MHA

Background: Pain management is fundamental in the treatment of a trauma casualty. Adequate pain management is associated with decreased long-term morbidity and chronic pain. Nonetheless, pain is frequently not documented nor adequately treated in the prehospital setting, a phenomenon described as oligoanalgesia. Gender bias has been suggested as a risk factor for oligoanalgesia.

Objectives: To examine the association between casualty gender and pain management in the prehospital trauma setting.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of the Israel Defense Forces Trauma Registry between 2015 and 2020. Univariable analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association between casualty gender and pain management. For adult patients for whom gender was known, pain scores were documented.

Results: A total of 1044 casualties were included in the study; 894 (85.6%) were male. Females and males differed in several demographic and injury characteristics, including age in years (mean 36 vs. 27.6, P value < 0.001) and injury mechanism (16%% vs. 34.5% penetrating injury, P value < 0.001). Female casualties were less likely to be treated for pain (odds ratio [OR] 0.708, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.5–1, P = 0.05). However, after adjustment for various factors, including pain severity, this association was insignificant (OR 0.748, 95%CI 0.46–1.23, P = 0.25).

Conclusions: In this prehospital study, gender bias in pain management was not apparent. As women’s role on the battlefield continues to increase, further studies regarding the role of

Alex Sorkin MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Roy Nadler MD, Ariel Hirschhorn MD, Ezri Tarazi BDes, Jacob Chen MD MHA, Noam Fink MD, Guy Avital MD, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, and Avi Benov MD MHA

Background: The Israeli Defense Forces-Medical Corps (IDF-MC) focuses on reducing preventable death by improving prehospital trauma care. High quality documentation of care can serve casualty care and to improve future care. Currently, paper casualty cards are used for documentation. Incomplete data acquisition and inadequate data handover are common. To resolve these deficits, the IDF-MC launched the BladeShield 101 project.

Objectives: To assess the quality of casualty care data acquired by comparing standard paper casualty cards with the BladeShield 101.

Methods: The BladeShield 101 system consists of three components: a patient unit that records vital signs and medical care provided, a medical sensor that transmits to the patient unit, and a ruggedized mobile device that allows providers to access and document information. We compared all trauma registries of casualties treated between September 2019 and June 2020.

Results: The system was applied during the study period on 24 patients. All data were transferred to the military trauma registry within one day, compared to 72% (141/194) with a paper casualty card (P < 0.01). Information regarding treatment time was available in 100% vs. 43% (P < 0.01) of cases and 98% vs. 67% (P < 0.01) of treatments provided were documented comparing BladeShield 101 with paper cards, respectively.

Conclusions: Using an autonomous system to record, view, deliver, and store casualty information may resolve most current information flow deficits. This solution will ultimately significantly improve individual patient care and systematic learning and development processes.

May 2022
Nomy Levin-Iaina MD, Avital Angel-Korman MD, Adi Leiba MD MHA, Esther Peres MD, Gabriel Bryk PhD, Vladimir Rapoport MD, Zeev Katzir MD, Yoram Yagil MD, and Tal Brosh-Nissimov MD MHA

Background: The reduced immune response of maintenance hemodialysis patients to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines is a major concern.

Objectives: To analyze the late (6 months after full vaccination) antibody response and compare it to early post-vaccination titer.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter prospective study of 13 hemodialysis units in Israel.

Results: We demonstrated that the low titers observed among ESRD patients 2–3 months after vaccination with the Comirnaty vaccine (median 63.8 AU/ml) declined to critically lower values 6 months after full vaccination. (Mediananti S antibodies, 31 AU/ml). Seropositivity significantly declined among hemodialysis patients from 89% to 74% (P < 0.0001), although it did not significantly change among controls.

Conclusions: We recommend all patients on hemodialysis receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine 6 months after the second dose.


March 2022
Avital Angel-Korman MD, Vladimir Rapoport MD, and Adi Leiba MD

Hypertension and cancer are both common due to the aging of the population and the advances in medical treatment which result in increased survival of cancer patients today. More patients with cancer; therefore, present with hypertension, which is attributed to different factors, including genetics and age as well as the type of tumor and cancer-related treatments. Given the increased cardiovascular and mortality risk related to hypertension, it is important to appropriately identify and treat hypertension, particularly in the population of vulnerable cancer patients. In this article we discuss the epidemiology, different etiologies, and approaches to the management of hypertension in cancer patients.

March 2021
Moran Slavin MD, Shmuel Avital MD, Yael Einbinder MD, Barak Benjamin MD, and Roye Inbar MD

Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a treatment option for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and cardiorenal syndrome (CRS).

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of this patient population.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of patients who underwent an open or laparoscopic insertion of a PD catheter at our institution between 2009 and 2017. Data included demographics, peri-operative parameters, and long-term outcome. Patient and technique survival curves are presented, including subgroup analysis by method of catheter insertion and techniques for infection prevention.

Results: The study population included 95 men and 42 women, aged 65.7 ± 12.4 years. Mean follow-up was 34.6 ± 27.3 months. Open insertion was performed in 113 cases, while 24 underwent laparoscopic insertion. There was no difference in technique survival between these groups (P = 0.943). Removal of the catheter was required in 66% of patients. Median technique survival was 12.1 months. Two-year technique survival was 37% and 5-year technique survival was 12%. The leading cause for catheter removal was infection (69%). Application of measures for prevention of infections were significantly associated with prolonged technique survival (P = 0.001). Technique survival after 2 years was 38% with the application of a single measure and 57% with the application of two measures (P = 0.001). CRS patients (n=24) had a significantly lower overall survival rate (2-year survival 20% vs. 74%, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: The method of catheter insertion has no effect on technique survival. Prevention of infections is the most significant factor for improving the technique survival rates.

July 2020
Yaron Rudnicki MD, Ian White MD, Barak Benjamin MD, Lauren Lahav MD, Baruch Shpitz MD and Shmuel Avital MD

Background: Following an intestinal anastomotic leak, stoma creation may be the safest approach. However, this method may be challenging and cause significant morbidity. In selected cases, a T drain approach can be beneficial and a stoma can be avoided.

Objectives: To present one group's experience with a T drain approach for anastomotic leaks.

Methods: Data on patients who underwent emergent re-laparotomy following gastrointestinal anastomotic leaks were retrieved retrospectively and assessed with a new intra-operative leak severity score.

Results: Of 1684 gastrointestinal surgeries performed from 2014 to 2018, 41 (2.4%) cases of anastomotic leaks were taken for re-laparotomy. Cases included different sites and etiologies. Twelve patients were treated with a T-tube drain inserted through the leak site, 18 had a stoma taken out, 6 re-anastomosis, 4 were treated with an Endosponge, and one primary repair with a proximal ileostomy was conducted. T drain approach was successful in 11 of 12 patients (92%) with full recovery. One patient did not improve and underwent reoperation with resection and re-anastomosis. A severity score of anastomotic integrity is provided to help surgeons in decision making.

Conclusions: A T drain approach can be an optimal solution in selected cases following an intestinal anastomotic leak. When the leak is limited, the remaining anastomosis is intact and the abdominal environment allows it, a T drain can be used and a stoma can be avoided.

January 2019
Ayelet Grupper MD, Moshe Shashar MD, Talia Weinstein MD PhD, Orit Kliuk Ben Bassat MD, Shoni Levy MD, Idit F. Schwartz MD, Avital Angel MD, Aharon Baruch MD, Avishay Grupper MD, Gil Chernin MD and Doron Schwartz MD

Background: Dialysate purity contributes to the inflammatory response that afflicts hemodialysis patients.

Objectives: To compare the clinical and laboratory effects of using ultrapure water produced by a water treatment system including two reverse osmosis (RO) units in series, with a system that also includes an ultrapure filter (UPF).

Methods: We performed a retrospective study in 193 hemodialysis patients during two periods: period A (no UPF, 6 months) and period B (same patients, with addition of UPF, 18 months), and a historical cohort of patients treated in the same dialysis unit 2 years earlier, which served as a control group.

Results: Mean C-reactive protein, serum albumin and systolic blood pressure worsened in period B compared to period A and in the controls.

Conclusions: A double RO system to produce ultrapure water is not inferior to the use of ultrapure filters.

May 2018
Roman Nevzorov MD, Avital Porter MD, Shanie Mostov DVM, Shirit Kazum MD, Alon Eisen MD, Gustavo Goldenberg MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD, Jairo Kusniec MD, Gregory Golovchiner MD, Boris Strasberg MD and Moti Haim MD

Background: Gender-related differences (GRD) exist in the outcome of patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Objectives: To assess GRD in patients who underwent CRT.

Methods: A retrospective cohort of 178 patients who were implanted with a CRT in a tertiary center 2005–2009 was analyzed. Primary outcome was 1 year mortality. Secondary endpoints were readmission and complication rates.

Results: No statistically significant difference was found in 1 year mortality rates (14.6% males vs. 11.8% females, P = 0.7) or in readmission rate (50.7% vs. 41.2%, P = 0.3). The complication rate was only numerically higher in women (14.7% vs. 5.6%, P = 0.09). Men more often had CRT-defibrillator (CRT-D) implants (63.2% vs. 35.3%, P = 0.003) and had a higher rate of ischemic cardiomyopathy (79.2% vs. 38.2%, P < 0.001). There was a trend to higher incidence of ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia in men before CRT implantation (29.9% vs. 14.7%, P = 0.07%). A higher proportion of men upgraded from implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to CRT-D, 20.8% vs. 8.8%, P = 0.047. On multivariate model, chronic renal failure was an independent predictor of 1 year mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 3.6; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.4–9.5), CRT-D had a protective effect compared to CRT-pacemaker (HR 0.3, 95%CI 0.12–0.81).

Conclusions: No GRD was found in 1 year mortality or readmission rates in patients treated with CRT. There was a trend toward a higher complication rate in females. Men were implanted more often with CRT-D and more frequently underwent upgrading of ICD to CRT-D.


March 2018
Avinoam Nevler MD, Yaniv Berger MD, Avital Rabinovitz MD, Oded Zmora MD, Moshe Shabtai MD, Danny Rosin MD and Mordechai Gutman MD FACS

Background: Acute appendicitis (AA) is one of the most common indications for emergency abdominal surgery.

Objective: To assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of serum bilirubin and liver enzyme levels in the management of acute appendicitis.

Methods: Consecutive emergency department patients referred for a surgical consult for suspected AA were prospectively enrolled in the study. Data regarding demographic, clinical and laboratory results were recorded. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was performed for all evaluated parameters. Clinical and laboratory markers were evaluated for diagnostic accuracy and correlation to the clinical severity, histology reports, and length of hospital stay.

Results: The study was comprised of 100 consecutive patients. ROC curve analysis revealed white blood cell count, absolute neutrophils count (ANC), C-reactive protein, total-bilirubin and direct-bilirubin levels as significant factors for diagnosis of AA. The combination of serum bilirubin levels, alanine transaminase levels, and ANC yielded the highest area under the curve (0.898, 95% confidence interval 0.835–0.962, P<0.001) with a diagnostic accuracy of 86%. In addition, total and direct bilirubin levels significantly correlated with the severity of appendicitis as described in the operative and pathology reports (P < 0.01). Total and direct bilirubin also significantly correlated with the length of hospital stay (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Serum bilirubin levels, alone or combined with other markers, may be considered as a clinical marker for AA correlating with disease existence, severity, and length of hospital stay. These findings support the routine use of serum bilirubin levels in the workup of patients with suspected AA.

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