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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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May 2024
Oshrit Hoffer PhD, Moriya Cohen BS, Maya Gerstein MD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD, Yael Richenberg MD, Shay Nathanson MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis in children. However, distinguishing GAS from viral pharyngitis is sometimes difficult. Unnecessary antibiotic use contributes to unwanted side effects, such as allergic reactions and diarrhea. It also may increase antibiotic resistance. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a machine learning algorithm on the clinical evaluation of bacterial pharyngitis in children.

Methods: We assessed 54 children aged 2–17 years who presented to a primary healthcare clinic with a sore throat and fever over 38°C from 1 November 2021 to 30 April 2022. All children were tested with a streptococcal rapid antigen detection test (RADT). If negative, a throat culture was performed. Children with a positive RADT or throat culture were considered GAS-positive and treated antibiotically for 10 days, as per guidelines. Children with negative RADT tests throat cultures were considered positive for viral pharyngitis. The children were allocated into two groups: Group A streptococcal pharyngitis (GAS-P) (n=36) and viral pharyngitis (n=18). All patients underwent a McIsaac score evaluation. A linear support vector machine algorithm was used for classification.

Results: The machine learning algorithm resulted in a positive predictive value of 80.6 % (27 of 36) for GAS-P infection. The false discovery rates for GAS-P infection were 19.4 % (7 of 36).

Conclusions: Applying the machine-learning strategy resulted in a high positive predictive value for the detection of streptococcal pharyngitis and can contribute as a medical decision aid in the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P.

February 2024
Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

December 2023
Chen Kugel MD, Dana Arnheim MD, Arad Dotan BSc, Maya Furman MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

On 7 October 2023, a large-scale invasion by armed Hamas terrorists occurred in southern Israel. Approximately 1500 militants breached the Gaza security barrier using tractors, RPGs, and explosives. Concurrently, the terrorists utilized various means including armed vehicles, motorized paragliders, sea incursions, and a massive rocket attack launched toward Israel. On entering Israeli territory, the militants dispersed and targeted several towns, kibbutzim (collective communities), and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military bases near Gaza. This strategy resulted in a death toll exceeded 1300 civilians and soldiers. In addition, more than 240 individuals were abducted. This attack occurred in one day. In this article, we introduce the Israeli National Institute of Forensic Medicine, which specialized in forensic analysis during mass casualty incidents, and pivotal role it played on 7 October. We present a detailed discussion on methods, challenges, and adaptations the institute took in response to the event of 7 October.

Ehud Galron MD, Rayna Boyarsky MD, Ido Solt MD, Chen Ben David MD, Eyal Gal MD

Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-based reaction to dietary gluten. CD can present with a diverse array of symptoms. Many CD patients have no symptoms at all. Thus, a great number of atypical cases of CD remain undiagnosed, leading to a risk of long-term complications. Some atypical symptoms of CD such as pregnancy complications, infertility, recurrent abortions, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm delivery, and severe preeclampsia have been investigated in undiagnosed and diagnosed pregnant women with CD. Nutrient deficiency and autoimmune pathogenic mechanisms have been hypothesized to be the explanation of these adverse pregnancy outcomes. Recently, an association between obstetric complications and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies titers in women with CD has been reported. While the adverse effects of CD on the reproductive system are well investigated, there are only a few reports in the literature on the effect of pregnancy and puerperium on CD. We reviewed the published literature on the adverse effects and pathophysiology of CD in reproductive disorders and the effect of pregnancy and puerperium on the manifestation of CD.

June 2023
Chen Buxbaum MD, Mark Katson MD, Moshe Herskovitz MD

Background: The annual incidence of epilepsy increases with age, from nearly 28 per 100,000 by the age of 50 years to 139 per 100,000 by the age of 75 years. Late-onset epilepsy differs from epilepsy at a young age in the prevalence of structural-related epilepsy, types of seizures, duration of seizures, and presentation with status epilepticus.

Objectives: To check the response to treatment in patients with epilepsy with age of onset of 50 years and older.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study. The cohort included all patients referred to the Rambam epilepsy clinic between 1 November 2016 and 31 January 2018 with epilepsy onset at age 50 years or older and at least one year of follow-up at the recruitment time point and epilepsy not caused by a rapidly progressive disease.

Results: At recruitment, most patients were being treated with a single antiseizure medication (ASM); 9 of 57 patients (15.7%) met the criteria for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). The mean duration of follow-up was 2.8 ± 1.3 years. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 7 of 57 patients (12.2%) had DRE at the last follow-up.

Conclusions: Late-onset epilepsy, which is defined as a first diagnosis in patients older than 50 years of age, is easy to control with monotherapy. The percentage of DRE in this group of patients is relatively low and stable over time.

April 2023
Chen Hanna Ryder PhD, Yori Gidron PhD, Darian Ryder PhD, Yair Shmidt, Naomi Dovrat MD, Ziv Sarusi MD, Noam Welder-Segalovich MD, Matan Segalovich MD, Daniel Marmor MD, Radi Shahien MD

Background: The two cerebral hemispheres influence the immune response differently. While the left hemisphere enhances cellular immunity, the right hemisphere inhibits it.

Objectives: To determine whether immune and inflammatory markers correlated with stroke severity and hospitalization duration as a function of stroke side.

Methods: The study included 137 patients with unilateral ischemic stroke. The medical records were reviewed for demographic and clinical laboratory data, including C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell (WBC) count, its differential stroke side and stroke severity according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and length of hospital stay (LOS). We examined differences between right side (RS) and left side (LS) stroke on immune and inflammatory markers and compared correlations between these markers and NIHSS and LOS as a function of stroke side.

Results: RS stroke patients had higher CRP and monocytes than LS stroke patients. In RS stroke patients, CRP, total WBC, and lymphocyte levels positively correlated with both NIHSS and LOS, whereas levels of neutrophils were positively correlated with NIHSS alone. No correlations were found for LS stroke patients.

Conclusions: Immune-inflammatory markers correlated with stroke severity and LOS only in patients with RS stroke. Neuroimmunological processes influence short-term clinical outcomes after stroke, especially considering the differential effects of the hemispheres on immunity. Prospective studies that evaluate long-term clinical outcomes are needed. Testing the effects of anti-inflammatory treatments on prognosis of RS stroke patients should be considered.

March 2023
Yoav Siegler MD, Chen Ben David MD, Zeev Weiner MD, Ido Solt MD

Late, preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) presents a major obstetrical challenge balancing between iatrogenic prematurity and risk of prolonged rupture of membranes. In recent years, the pendulum has been shifting toward expectant management until gestation week 37 + 0. We examined the latest guidelines and major trials and summarized optimal management. We addressed the major dilemmas of women with PPROM during gestation weeks 34 + 0 to 36 + 6.

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.

September 2022
Ronny Ben-Avi MD, Alex Sorkin MD, Roy Nadler MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Jacob Chen MD MHA, and Avi Benov MD MHA; and Israel Trauma Group

Background: Chest trauma is among the most common types of trauma, corresponding to 10% of trauma patients admitted to hospitals. In the military setting, thoracic trauma was reported as a significant cause of death. With well-timed treatment, chest trauma is regarded as survivable. Emergency thoracotomy (ET) is considered when the patient with trauma to the chest needs immediate resuscitation. Survival rate is reported as low as 1% in some reports and 20% in others. The survival rate depends on injury mechanism, protocols for intervention, and other decompressive procedures.

Objectives: To determine parameters that may impact survival of ET.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study to compare prehospital and in-hospital data regarding ET in the emergency department (ED) versus the operating room (OR).

Results: Between 2009 and 2017, 6532 casualties presented to the ED; 1125 with trauma to the chest. Fifty-four of those with chest trauma underwent ET in the hospital (4.8%), 22 (41%) in the ED, and 32 (59%) in the OR. The overall mortality of the ET subgroup was 48%. With regard to thoracotomies, 19/22 of patients (86%) who underwent ET in the ED died compared to 2/28 in the OR (13%).

Conclusions: Utilizing ET after chest trauma with appropriate clinical indications, well-trained personnel, and prompt transportation poses a significant challenge, but may be associated with better survival than that reported previously with military casualties. Adoption of indications and timed allocation to the OR may improve outcomes with chest trauma casualties.

Maxim Bez MD PhD, Dana Bez MD MPH, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Roy Nadler MD MHA, Avi Benov MD, and Jacob Chen MD MSc MHA

Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant cause of death in the battlefield. TBI can be challenging to diagnose in the combat setting and remains a substantial challenge for advanced life support (ALS) providers.

Objectives: To compare prehospital and hospitalization characteristics between isolated and non-isolated TBI. To examine the effects of TBI with coexisting injuries on patient evaluation and outcomes based on the Israeli Defense Forces Trauma Registry and the Israeli National Trauma Registry of soldiers hospitalized for TBI between the years 2006–2017.

Methods: A total of 885 casualties were eligible for our study, of whom 271 (30%) had isolated TBI. Only 35% of hospitalized patients with isolated TBI were defined as urgent by the ALS providers versus 67% in the non-isolated TBI group (P < 0.001).

Results: Overall, 29% of the TBIs in the non-isolated group were missed by the ALS providers vs. 11% in the isolated group.

Conclusions: Concomitant injuries may delay the diagnosis of TBI by ALS providers. These findings should be considered in the prehospital evaluation to potentially improve the care and outcome of head injury patients.

Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Roy Nadler MD, Alex Sorkin MD, Ilona Lipkin BEMS, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Jacob Chen MD MHA, and Avi Benov MD MHA

Background: Vehicle-ramming attacks have become a common tactic for terror organizations worldwide. However, the medical implications of vehicle-ramming attacks remain unknown.

Objectives: To investigate the characteristics of vehicle-ramming attack incidents and casualties in order to assist in guiding the policy of medical organizations. 

Methods: In this study we included all vehicle-ramming attacks recorded in the Israel Defense Forces-Trauma Registry between 2015 and 2019. Records were screened using text mining of incident, casualty, and injury descriptions. The selected records were examined manually to ensure that they were vehicle-ramming attacks. Incident and casualty data were retrieved from the trauma registry.

Results: During the years 2015–2019, a total of 36 vehicle-ramming attacks with 113 casualties were documented in the trauma registry. The median number of casualties, urgent casualties, and fatalities per incident was 3 (interquartile range [IQR] 2–5), 1 (IQR 1–2), and 1 (IQR 1–1), respectively. Of the incidents, 15 (42%) had three or more casualties. The most prevelant day of the week was Friday with 9 incidents (25%). Within the day, 21 incidents (58%) occurred between the hours of 12:00 and 18:00. Commonly injured body regions were lower extremities (55%), head (28%), and upper extremities. Ten victims (9%) died before arriving at a hospital.

Conclusions: Vehicle-ramming attacks tend to have multiple casualties, be deadly, occur more often on Fridays and in the afternoon, and result mostly in injuries to the extremities and the head. These findings could guide policymaking to improve medical response to vehicle-ramming attacks.

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.

The Rubrum Coelis Group*, and Jacob Chen MD MHA MSc, Alex Dobron BMedSc MOccH, Akiva Esterson BEMS MD, Lior Fuchs MD, Elon Glassberg MD MHA MBA, David Hoppenstein MBBCh, Regina Kalandarev-Wilson BEMS MD, Itamar Netzer MD MBA, Mor Nissan BEMS, Rachelly Shifer Ovsiovich DMD, Raphael Strugo MD, Oren Wacht BEMS MHA PhD, Chad G. Ball MD MSc FRCSC FACS, Naisan Garraway CD MD FRCSC FACS, Lawrence Gillman MD MMedEd FRCSC FACS, Andrew W. Kirkpatrick MD CD MHSc FRCSC FACS, Volker Kock CD MB, Paul McBeth MD MASc FRCS(C), Jessica McKee BA MSc, Juan Wachs PhD, and Scott K. d’Amours MDCM FRCSC FRACS FACS

Background: Handheld ultrasound devices present an opportunity for prehospital sonographic assessment of trauma, even in the hands of novice operators commonly found in military, maritime, or other austere environments. However, the reliability of such point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) examinations by novices is rightly questioned. A common strategy being examined to mitigate this reliability gap is remote mentoring by an expert.

Objectives: To assess the feasibility of utilizing POCUS in the hands of novice military or civilian emergency medicine service (EMS) providers, with and without the use of telementoring. To assess the mitigating or exacerbating effect telementoring may have on operator stress.

Methods: Thirty-seven inexperienced physicians and EMTs serving as first responders in military or civilian EMS were randomized to receive or not receive telementoring during three POCUS trials: live model, Simbionix trainer, and jugular phantom. Salivary cortisol was obtained before and after the trial. Heart rate variability monitoring was performed throughout the trial.

Results: There were no significant differences in clinical performance between the two groups. Iatrogenic complications of jugular venous catheterization were reduced by 26% in the telementored group (P < 0.001). Salivary cortisol levels dropped by 39% (P < 0.001) in the telementored group. Heart rate variability data also suggested mitigation of stress.

Conclusions: Telementoring of POCUS tasks was not found to improve performance by novices, but findings suggest that it may mitigate caregiver stress.

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.

August 2022
Yulia Zinchenko MD PhD, Anna Malkova MD, and Anna Starshinova Prof
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