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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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October 2023
George Shallufi MD, Suhair Hanna MD, Asaad Khoury MD, Tarek Saadi MD, Anat Ilivitzki MD, Michal Gur MD, Lea Bentur MD, Ronen Bar-Yoseph MD

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a heterogeneous primary immune deficiency disorder characterized mainly by defective B lymphocyte differentiation, leading to hypogammaglobinemia and defective antibody production. It is often combined with cellular immune defects. A minority of patients present during childhood and adolescence. Infections are most often sinopulmonary but can affect any system. The noninfectious complications include progressive lung disease, autoimmunity, gastrointestinal inflammatory disease, liver disease, granulomatous disease, lymphoid hyperplasia and infiltrative disease, and the development of lymphoma and other cancers. In addition to recurrent infections and bronchiectasis, patients may develop chronic interstitial lung disease, granulomatous lung disease, lymphoma, and pulmonary hypertension.

March 2019
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Nona Kovler MD, Gal Neuman MD, Bella Gurevych MD, Paul Sofer MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH

Background: The Israel Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24-hour telephone consultations on clinical toxicology and drug and reproductive toxicology. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and provides laboratory services. In 2014, nurse specialists in poison information joined the IPIC.

Objectives: To report the epidemiology of poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We present computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC for 2017.

Results: A total of 39,928 poison exposure cases were recorded, reflecting increases of 226.3% and 26.7% compared with 1995 and 2012, respectively. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 47.0% of cases; 80.4% of calls were made by the public and 17.8% by physicians; 74.2% of exposures were unintentional and 7.3% intentional. Pharmaceuticals were involved in 51.4% of cases, chemicals in 36.9%, bites and stings in 2.2%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.5%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products, and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.3%, mainly due to insecticides, drugs of abuse, and corrosives. Three fatalities were recorded (due to colchicine, organophosphates, and volatile substance inhalant abuse).

Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have markedly increased in Israel, contributing substantially to morbidity. The IPIC prevented unnecessary referrals to emergency departments. Its database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory, and its activities adequately supported by national resources.

January 2019
November 2018
Vered Nir MD, Michal Gur MD, Yazeed Toukan MD, Fahed Hakim MD, Arcadi Vachyan MD and Lea Bentur MD

Background: Recurrence of tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is reported in 8–20% patients. Factors that may influence recurrence of fistula beyond the postoperative period are not clear.

Objectives: To evaluate possible factors associated with recurrence of TEF beyond the immediate postoperative period.

Methods: A single center, retrospective comparison of patients with and without recurrence of TEF was conducted. Medical records of patients previously operated for TEF who were followed in our pediatric pulmonary institute between January 2007 and December 2016 were reviewed.

Results: The medical records of 74/77 patients previously operated for TEF were evaluated. Nine patients (12%) had a recurrence of TEF and 65 did not. These groups had similar age and gender distribution and similar prevalence of VACTERL association. In addition, they had similar length of atretic gap, rates of thoracoscopic surgery, rates of prolonged need for respiratory assistance post-surgery, and frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms. Notably, the patients who had recurrent TEF had significantly more hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms (P = 0.011) and significantly more episodes of clinical bronchiolitis per patient (P < 0.0001). In addition, the patients with recurrent TEF had significantly more episodes of positive polymerase chain reaction for viruses (P = 0.009).

Conclusions: Hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms as well as clinical and/or viral bronchiolitis are associated with recurrence of TEF. Even though cause and effect cannot be established, these patients should undergo meticulous evaluation for the possibility of recurrence of TEF.

August 2016
Netta Bentur PhD, Shelley A. Sternberg MD and Jennifer Shuldiner MA

Background: Frailty is a dynamic process with transitions over time.

Objectives: To examine frailty transitions and their relationship to utilization of health services. 

Methods: Frailty status using the Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) was determined for 608 community-dwelling older people interviewed in a 2008 national survey and for 281 re-interviewed in 2014. The effect of frailty on death 6 years later was assessed using Cox proportional hazards analysis. Participants were divided into four groups based on their frailty transition. Demographic, functional and health characteristics were compared between the four groups using the Kruskal-Wallis and paired t-test. The independent association between the four frailty groups and health services utilization was assessed using logistic regression. 

Results: Between 2008 and 2014, 24% of 608 participants were lost to follow-up, 9% were non- frail, 37% were frail, and 30% died. The Cox ratio showed that 86% of the non-frail in 2008 were alive 6 years later vs. 52% of the frail (hazard ratio 3.5, confidence interval 2.2–5.4). Frailty transitions in the 281 participants interviewed at both time points revealed that 19% stayed non-frail, 22% became frail, 22% stayed frail and 37% became more frail. Becoming frail, staying frail or becoming more frail compared to staying non-frail was independently associated with a greater risk for requiring help on a regular basis, having a formal caregiver, and requiring home care. 

Conclusions: Any transition away from the non-frail state increased the use of health care services. Interventions to target early transition to frailty should be encouraged.

 

October 2015
Ophir Lavon MD and Yedidia Bentur MD

Background: Exposure to silica gel, a common desiccant, is considered common and non-toxic although data are limited.

Objectives: To evaluate the characteristics of silica gel ingestion, and to attempt to estimate the associated health care costs.

Methods: We conducted a one year retrospective review of charts of a national poison information center to characterize ingestions of silica gel and estimate its direct cost to health care services. Cost evaluation was based on emergency department and community clinic tariffs (NIS 807/US$ 213 and NIS 253/US$ 67, respectively).

Results: A total of 546 cases were recorded, 2.1% of the annual calls to the poison information center. Most ingestions occurred in children younger than 6 years old (91.4%, 65.2% < 2 years). Median monthly exposure was 42; the peak (74) occurred in April, before the Passover holiday. Sixty calls (11%) came from health care facilities and the rest were reported by the public; 2.7% were symptomatic, mainly mild self-limited mouth and throat discomfort. The direct annual treatment cost of patients who referred themselves to health care facilities without consulting first with the Poison Center (n=60) was NIS 24,598/US$ 6507 (emergency department and community clinic visit fees). 

Conclusions: Silica gel ingestion is relatively common, occurring mainly in young children; it is rarely symptomatic but is a source of unnecessary referrals to health care facilities. The potential annual saving by preventing unnecessary referrals due to poison information center advice was estimated at NIS 375,678/US$ 99,383. The availability of poison information center services may prevent unnecessary referrals to health care facilities and thus save costs. 

 

November 2014
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Nona Kovler MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Bella Gurevych MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH

Background: The Israel National Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24 hour telephone consultations in clinical toxicology as well as drug and teratogen information. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and also provides laboratory services.

Objectives: To report data on the epidemiology of poisonings and poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We made computerized queries and descriptive analyses of the medical records database of the IPIC during 2012.

Results: A total of 31,519 poison exposure cases were recorded, a 157.6% increase compared with 1995. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 43.1% of cases; 74.0% of calls were made by the public and 23.7% by physicians; 74.8% of exposures were unintentional and 9.1% intentional. Chemicals were involved in 35.8% of all cases (single and multiple substances), pharmaceuticals in 48.8%, bites and stings in 3.8%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.6%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.4%. Substances most frequently involved in moderate/major exposures were corrosives, insecticides and snake venom. Four fatalities were recorded; all were intentional exposures in adults (corrosive, medications, energy drink).

Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have increased significantly and have contributed substantial to morbidity and mortality in Israel. The IPIC database is a valuable national resource for the collection and monitoring of poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory and its activities be adequately supported by national resources.

September 2010
Y. Bentur, N. Desiatnic Obchinikov, A. Cahana, N. Kovler, A. Bloom-Krasik, O. Lavon, B. Gurevych and Y. Lurie

Background: Poisonings are a significant cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality. The Israel Poison Information Center provides clinical consultations on poisonings and drug information 24 hours a day.

Objective: To evaluate epidemiologic characteristics of pediatric poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We reviewed computerized queries and performed a descriptive analysis of the Poison Center database pertaining to patients less than 18 years old during 2007.

Results: A total of 15,005 pediatric poison exposures were recorded, 80.3% of them occurring in children under 6 years old. Of the calls to the Poison Center, 78.6% were made by the public, 20.7% by physicians, and in 74.4% the call was within 2 hours of exposure. Most exposures occurred at home (89.3%) and were unintentional (89.5%). Among adolescents, most exposures were intentional (49.3%, 38.2% suicides), the time lapse until consultation was longer (37% > 2 hours), and more physicians (54.8%) consulted the Poison Center. Most cases were asymptomatic or mildly affected (92.3%), 54.4% in adolescents. The commonest substances involved in single poison exposure were detergents, antimicrobials, topical preparations, acetaminophen and scale removers; in adolescents the most common substances were acetaminophen, methylphenidate, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, atropine and ethanol. Moderate to severe toxicity was commonly associated with organophosphates, alkali, ethanol, Vipera palaestinae and neuroleptics. Most patients could be observed at home (66.6%), while more adolescents were referred to emergency departments (42.2% vs. 9.9%) or hospitalized (14.5% vs. 1.9%).

Conclusions: Pediatric poisonings are a significant health problem. The magnitude of the problem is greater in the young age group but more severe in adolescence, probably due to deliberate self-poisoning. Greater national efforts should be directed towards improved poison prevention, rational management of pediatric poisoning, and creating a national poisoning registry.
 

July 2009
N. Bentur and S. Resnitzky

Background: Information regarding long-term survival after stroke in many countries is scarce.

Objectives: To both assess 5 year survival after stroke in the Israeli population and determine its independent prognostic factors.

Methods: We followed 616 people with acute stroke who were admitted consecutively to seven large general hospitals in Israel. The data were collected on admission to the hospital, at discharge, at 3, 6 and 12 months thereafter, and 5 years after the stroke.

Results: The 5 year cumulative probability of survival was 49.2% (95% CI 45.0–53.7%). In the multivariate Cox analysis, lower age and functioning independently before the event were associated with a lower risk of death, while other demographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors were not found to be associated with mortality.

Conclusions: Five year survival after stroke in Israel, though high, is similar to other western countries. There is a need to ensure early, active and sustained implementation of strategies for preventing stroke events.

November 2008
Y. Bentur et al

Background: The Israel National Poison Information Center, Rambam Health Care Campus, provides telephone consultations on clinical toxicology as well as drug and teratogen information around the clock. The Center participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and also provides laboratory services.

Objectives: To analyze data on the epidemiology of poisonings and poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We conducted computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC[1] during 2007.

Results: Overall, 26,738 poison exposure cases were recorded, a 118.5% increase compared to 1995. Children under 6 years old were involved in 45% of cases; 73% of the calls were made by the public and 25.5% by physicians; 74.4% of exposures were unintentional and 9.2% intentional. Chemicals were involved in 37.9% of cases, pharmaceuticals in 44.2%, bites and stings in 4.3% and poisonous plants in 1.2%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.5%. Substances most frequently involved in moderate/major exposures were insecticides, drugs of abuse and corrosives. Eight fatalities were recorded – three unintentional exposures (all chemicals) and five intentional (chemicals, medications, drugs of abuse).

Conclusions: The rates of poison exposures and poisonings in Israel have increased significantly, contributing substantially to morbidity and mortality. The IPIC database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring cases of poison exposure and can be used as a real-time surveillance system. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory and that its activities be adequately supported by national resources.

 






[1] IPIC = Israel National Poison Information Center


S. Gweta et al.

Background: Due to extensive activity at sea, certain human populations, especially fishermen, are exposed to direct contact with the sea's inhabitants, including dangerous marine animals.

Objectives: To characterize and assess the extent of injuries caused by marine organisms along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, their type, severity and medical treatment given.

Methods: Data were obtained from a survey on injuries from marine organisms conducted among professional fishermen along the Mediterranean coast of Israel and from medical records reporting toxicological consultations provided by the Israel Poison Information Center.

Results: Injuries caused by marine organisms are not rare in Israel, but most cases are not severe. The most common injuries reported by fishermen were caused by stingrays (30%), weaver fish (22%), rabbit fish, (13%) and marine catfish (10%) – a new Red Sea immigrant. Most fishermen tend to treat such injuries themselves and sought medical help only when an unknown venomous fish was involved. Most cases of severe toxicity were due to secondary infection. Data from the IPIC[1] indicated that 64% of the calls were from the general public and the rest came from physicians in health care facilities. Four sources of injuries were identified: cleaning and preparing fish for consumption, during leisure water sport activities, handling marine aquaria, and fishing. Most cases from the IPIC were graded as minor severity (85%) and were treated symptomatically.
Conclusions: We recommend that medical facilities be installed at the fishing anchorages and that a separate category be established for injuries by marine organisms to facilitate epidemiological data collection from health care facilities







[1] IPIC = Israel Poison Information Center


Ophir Lavon, MD, Yael Lurie, MD and Yedidia Bentur, MD

Background: Scombroid fish poisoning is an acute illness caused by consumption of fish containing high concentrations of histamine. Improper handling of fish leads to bacterial contamination. Bacterial enzymes convert histidine to histamine. Symptoms develop quickly and resemble an immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic reaction. The diagnosis is often missed. Serious complications (e.g., bronchospasm, hypotension) are infrequent.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of scombroid fish poisoning in Israel as reported to the National Poison Information Center.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective poison center chart review from January 2005 to December 2007.

Results: During the study period, 21 events of scombroid poisoning involving 46 patients were recorded. Tuna was the commonest fish consumed (84.7%). Clinical manifestations developed within 20 minutes in 65.2% of the patients. The main clinical manifestations included rash (41%), flushing (37%), gastrointestinal complaints (37%) and headache (30.4%). About 25% had abnormal vital signs; two patients developed hypotension. Treatment was supportive and included mainly H1-antagonists (65.2%) and fluids (13%). Five patients were initially misdiagnosed as having an allergic reaction and were treated with corticosteroids (four patients) and epinephrine (one patient).

Conclusions: Scombroid fish poisoning should be suspected in patients with histamine-like manifestations that are temporally related to fish (mainly tuna) consumption, especially in outbreaks. Although scombroid poisoning is often self-limited and responds well to antihistamines, prolonged observation may be required as severe toxicity can supervene. Proper handling of fish and urgent notification of the Ministry of Health are mandatory in order to prevent this potentially serious public heath problem.
 

Ophir Lavon, MD, Yael Lurie, MD, Benjamin Abbou, MD, Bishara Bishara, MD, Shlomo Hanan Israelit, MD PhD and Yedidia Bentur, MD.
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