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עמוד בית
Fri, 31.03.23

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October 2015
Barak Raguan BSc, Efrat Wolfovitz MD and Efrat Gil MD

Background: Physical restraints are a common, albeit controversial, tool used in the acute care setting. 

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of physical restraint use in an acute care hospital. Secondary objectives were to determine whether physical restraints are used more commonly in night shifts, identify patient risk factors for physical restraint use, and establish if staff-to-patient ratio correlated with physical restraint use.

Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted over 3 months in 2013 in the medical, surgical and intensive care units in a mid-sized general hospital. All the physically restrained patients in each observation were added to the registry. At each observation one department was selected for comparison and all non-restrained patients were added to the registry.

Results: The study population comprised 2163 patients. Seventy-six were restrained and 205 were included as case-controls. The prevalence of physical restraint use was 3.51% (95%CI = 2.79–4.37%). Physical restraint use was more common in night shifts than day shifts: 4.40% vs. 2.56% (P = 0.03). Male gender, dependency, invasive ventilation, invasive tubes (nasogastric tube or urine catheter), and bedsores were all significantly correlated with restraint use. Staff-to-patient ratios were not significantly correlated with use of physical restraints.

Conclusions: Physical restraints are relatively common in acute care wards. The use of physical restraints seems to correlate with certain patient characteristics but not with staff-to-patient ratios, and seems more common at night. 


June 2015
Hashem Bishara MD MPH, Noam Goldstein MD, Marwan Hakim MD, Olga Vinitsky MD MPH, Danit Shechter-Amram RN and Daniel Weiler-Ravell MD

Background: Atypical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may cause diagnostic delay and adversely influence pregnancy outcome. 

Objectives: To examine the incidence and clinical and epidemiological features of TB during pregnancy and investigate infection control measures at delivery and during the postpartum period.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all reported cases of TB diagnosed during pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Israel’s Northern Health District (2002–2012). 

Results: Active TB was detected in six patients; all were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Two patients were diagnosed in the postpartum period, and four had pulmonary involvement. The average incidence during this period (3.9 per 100,000 pregnancies) was similar to that in the general population. Five patients were at high risk of contracting TB due to either recent immigration from a high-burden country or being in contact with another individual with active TB. Patients with pleuropulmonary involvement had prolonged cough and abnormal chest X-rays, without fever. Diagnosis was delayed for 3 to 7 months from symptom onset. Investigation of the newborn to rule out intrauterine infection was conducted in only one of four relevant cases. All patients were infected with organisms susceptible to all first-line drugs, and all were cured with standard therapy.

Conclusions: There was a considerable delay in the diagnosis of TB among pregnant women, and investigation of the newborn upon delivery to rule out TB infection was routinely omitted. Effective management of TB during pregnancy and the postpartum period requires a multidisciplinary approach including an obstetrician, pediatrician, TB specialist, and public health physician.


Ronen Ben-Ami MD and David Denning FRCP

Fungal diseases affect a large proportion of the population, ranging in severity from mild superficial infections to life-threatening invasive diseases. Estimates of disease burden are needed to inform public health policies. We estimated the incidence of fungal diseases in Israel based on published surveillance data and risk-based calculations using previously established models. Deaths associated with fungal diseases were estimated from local surveillance data (candidemia) and published reports (invasive aspergillosis). Candidemia was estimated in 649 persons/year and invasive aspergillosis in 254 persons/year; the associated mortality was 2.75 and 0.96 per 100,000 population/year, respectively. Recurrent Candida vulvovaginitis occurs in 130,440 women annually. National incidence rates of cryptococcosis, pneumocystis pneumonia and mucormycosis could not be reliably estimated. Single-center data-derived estimates yielded 24, 26 and 20 cases/year, respectively. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, asthma with fungal sensitization and allergic fungal sinusitis affect 8297 (range 2323–11,615), 14,372 (14,372–17,965) and 39,922 (15,969–183,643) persons, respectively. In Israel, candidemia and invasive aspergillosis rank high among infection-related causes of mortality. Allergic fungal diseases cause chronic or recurrent symptoms in a large population and may contribute to asthma-related hospitalization and death. These general estimates should serve as a primer for future efforts to study fungal epidemiology. 


April 2015
Mahmoud Soubra MD, Yehudith Assouline-Dayan MD and Ron Schey MD FACG
December 2014
Yehoshua Shapira DMD, Itay Blum DMD, Ziona Haklai MSc, Nir Shpack DMD and Yona Amitai MD MPH

Background: Orofacial clefts are the most common craniofacial congenital malformations, with significant anatomic, ethnical, racial and gender differences.

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence, distribution and characteristic features of various types of non-syndromic clefts among Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective multi-center survey in 13 major hospitals in Israel for the period 1993–2005. To obtain the true prevalence and detailed clinical characteristics, data on liveborn infants with non-syndromic clefts were obtained from the Ministry of Health's National Birth Defect Registry and completed by chart reviews in the 13 surveyed hospitals.

Results: Of 976,578 liveborn infants, 684 presented unilateral or bilateral clefts, with a prevalence of 7.00/10,000 live births; 479 were Jews and 205 were Arabs. The prevalence was higher among Arabs compared to Jews (11.12 and 6.22 per 10,000 live births in Arabs and Jews, respectively, P < 0.00001). Males had higher cleft rates than females (7.69/10,000 and 6.17/10,000 live births, respectively, P = 0.05). Males had more cleft lips with or without cleft palate, while females had more isolated cleft palates

(P < 0.001). There was left-side predominance. Newborns of younger mothers (age < 20 years) and of older mothers (age ≥ 45 years) had higher cleft rates than those with mothers in the 20–44 year bracket (P < 0.009). Children born at or above the 5th birth order had a higher cleft rate (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The prevalence of non-syndromic clefts was 7.00/10,000 live births. The markedly higher rate in Arabs is related to the high rate of consanguinity. Both very young and old maternal age represents a higher risk of clefts in their offspring. 

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.

May 2014
Lidia V. Gabis MD and John Pomeroy MD
Background:  Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) represent a common phenotype related to multiple etiologies, such to genetic, brain injury (e.g., prematurity), environmental (e.g., viral, toxic), multiple or unknown causes. 

Objectives: To devise a clinical classification of children diagnosed with ASD according to etiologic workup.

Methods: Children diagnosed with ASD (n=436) from two databases were divided into groups of symptomatic, cryptogenic or idiopathic, and variables within each database and diagnostic category were compared.

Results: By analyzing the two separate databases, 5.4% of the children were classified as symptomatic, 27% as cryptogenic and 67.75% as idiopathic. Among other findings, the entire symptomatic group demonstrated language delays, but almost none showed evidence for regression. Our results indicate similarities between the idiopathic and cryptogenic subgroups in most of the examined variables, and mutual differences from the symptomatic subgroup. The similarities between the first two subgroups support prior evidence that most perinatal factors and minor physical anomalies do not contribute to the development of core symptoms of autism. Conclusions: Differences in gender and clinical and diagnostic features were found when etiology was used to create subtypes of ASD. This classification could have heuristic importance in the search for an autism gene(s).

September 2013
I. Strauss, N. Carmi-Oren, A. Hassner, M. Shapiro, M. Giladi and Z. Lidar

Background: Spinal epidural abscess (SEA) is a rare disease with a potentially devastating outcome, and a reported incidence traditionally estimated at 0.2–2 cases/10,000 hospital admissions. Since the implementation in October 2007 of a program to increase medical personnel’s awareness of SEA, we have documented a sharp increase in the incidence of SEA at our medical center

Objectives: To investigate the cause of the increased incidence of SEA.

Methods: All cases diagnosed with SEA during the period 1998–2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Cases diagnosed before 2007 were compared with those diagnosed thereafter.

Results: From January 1998 to October 2007 SEA was diagnosed in 22 patients (group A), giving an annual incidence of 0.14–0.6 cases per 10,000 admissions. During the period November 2007 to April 2010, 26 additional patients were diagnosed (group B), yielding an incidence of 0.81–1.7 cases per 10,000 admissions (P < 0.01). The two groups did not differ significantly in epidemiological, clinical or laboratory characteristics, or in the causative bacteria isolated.

Conclusions: The threefold rise in the incidence of SEA observed at a tertiary medical center in Tel Aviv since November 2007 was not explained by different host characteristics or by more virulent bacterial isolates. We suggest that heightened awareness of the clinical presentation and timely utilization of MR imaging has resulted in more cases being identified. 

February 2013
T. Steinberg, I. Tamir, S. Zimmerman-Brenner, M. Friling and A. Apter
 Background:  Tic disorders are common causes of morbidity in Israel but their prevalence in this country needs further study.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of mental disorders in Israeli youth including tic disorders, as part of the Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA).

Methods: The ISMEHA was conducted in a representative sample of 957 adolescents aged 14–17 and their mothers during 2004–2005. We interviewed the adolescents and their mothers in their homes and collected demographic information about the use of services. We also administered a psychiatric interview, the Development and Well-Being Assessment inventory (DAWBA), which included a question on tic disorder. The prevalence of tic disorders was calculated based on the adolescents’ and maternal reports. The relationships among demographic data, comorbidity rates, help-seeking behaviors and tic disorder are presented.

Results: The prevalence of tics was 1.3% according to maternal reports and 4.4% according to adolescents’ reports. The prevalence correlated with externalizing disorders and learning disabilities A higher prevalence of tics was found in the Arab population compared with Jewish adolescents

Conclusions: The prevalence of tic disorders in Israel, as measured by a direct question in this epidemiological study, and associated comorbidities concurs with previous reports. The complexities of prevalence estimations, comorbidities, demographic correlates, and help-seeking behaviors are discussed.

November 2012
K. Parakh, M.M. Kittleson, B. Heidecker, I.S. Wittstein, D.P. Judge, H.C. Champion, L.A. Barouch, K.L. Baughman, S.D. Russell, E.K. Kasper, K.K. Sitammagari and J.M. Hare

Background: Determining the prognosis of patients with heart failure is essential for patient management and clinical trial conduct. The relative value of traditional prognostic criteria remains unclear and the assessment of long-term prognosis for individual patients is problematic.

Objectives: To determine the ability of clinical, hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters to predict the long-term prognosis of patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Methods: We investigated the ability of clinical, hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters to predict the long-term prognosis of individual patients in a large, representative, contemporary cohort of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) patients referred to Johns Hopkins from 1997 to 2004 for evaluation of cardiomyopathy. In all patients a baseline history was taken, and physical examination, laboratory studies, echocardiogram, right heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy were performed.

Results: In 171 IDCM patients followed for a median 3.5 years, there were 50 long-term event-free survivors (LTS) (median survival 6.4 years) and 34 patients died or underwent ventricular assist device placement or transplantation within 5 years (NLTS; non-long-term survivors) (median time to event 1.83 years. Established risk factors (gender, race, presence of diabetes, serum creatinine, sodium) and the use of accepted heart failure medications (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers) were similar between the two groups. Although LTS had younger age, higher ejection fraction (EF) and lower New York Heart Association (NYHA) class at presentation, the positive predictive value of an EF< 25% was 64% (95% CI 41%–79%) and of NYHA class > 2 was 53% (95% CI 36–69%). A logistic model incorporating these three variables incorrectly classified 29% of patients.

Conclusions: IDCM exhibits a highly variable natural history and standard clinical predictors have limited ability to classify IDCM patients into broad prognostic categories. These findings suggest that there are important host-environmental factors still unappreciated in the biology of IDCM.

June 2012
E. Silberstein, T. Silberstein, E. Elhanan, E. Bar-Droma, A. Bogdanov-Berezovsky and L. Rosenberg

Background: Clefts of the lip and palate are the most common significant congenital birth anomaly of orofacial region. The condition may vary from a minor easily correctable cleft to a significant functional and cosmetic incapacitation. This is the first epidemiological study of orofacial clefts in the Negev region in Israel.

Objectives: To establish the frequency of cleft lip and palate in the population of the Negev, characterize the demographic features of affected individuals and find possible risk factors, compare the risk in two major population groups: Bedouin and Jewish in a well-defined geographic area, and determine whether there is a change over time in the birth of babies with facial clefts.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective survey of the Soroka Medical Center archives. The sample population comprised all 131,218 babies born at Soroka during the 11 year period 1 January 1996 to 31 December 2006. Statistical tests used Pearson's chi-square test, Student’s t-test and Spearman's correlation coefficient test according to the type of parameter tested.

Results: During the study period 140 babies were born with orofacial cleft. The overall incidence of cleft lip and palate was 1.067/1000. The incidence of facial clefts was 1.54/1000 among Bedouins and 0.48/1000 among Jews (P < 0.001). Cleft palate was significantly more frequent in female than male babies (P = 0.002). Over the study years we found a significant decrease in the incidence of facial clefts in the Bedouin population, with Spearman's correlation coefficient rank -0.9 (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: A significant decrease occurred in the incidence of facial clefts among Bedouin. This change may be attributed to prenatal care in the Bedouin Negev population as part of social and health-related behavior changes. The reduction in rates of congenital malformations, however, does not mean a reduction in the number of cases in a growing population. Also, with a modern western lifestyle, the expectancy and demand for reconstructive facial surgery and comprehensive care for these children are on the rise.

June 2011
J. Bishara, E. Goldberg, L. Madar-Shapiro, J. Behor and Z. Samra

Background: The rate of infection with Clostridium difficile colitis and its associated mortality have been increasing in the last decade. The molecular epidemiology of C. difficile in Israel has as yet not been studied.

Objectives: To screen for the existence of the 027 and 078 ribotypes and determine the longitudinal molecular epidemiology of the circulating clinical C. difficile isolates in a large hospital in central Israel.

Methods: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotyping was performed on C. difficile isolates obtained from hospitalized patients from November 2003 to May 2004 (first study period) and September 2009 (second study period). Isolates with PCR[1] ribotype patterns, unlike those of the available reference strains (078 and 027), were labeled with letters. Forty-six isolates from the first study period and 20 from the second were analyzed.

Results: PCR strain typing of C. difficile isolates yielded approximately 26 unique ribotypes. During the first study period, ribotype A and B accounted for 30% and 28%, respectively, whereas ribotype E and K accounted for 6.5% for each. During the second study period, ribotypes A, E and K disappeared, and the incidence of ribotype B decreased from 28% to 15%. One isolate (1/20, 5%) emerged during the second period and was identified as ribotype 027. Moxifloxacin resistance was found in 93% of ribotype A isolates, 81% of the ribotype B group, and in 44% of other ribotypes.

Conclusions: The predominant ribotypes circulating in our institution were diverse and changing. This is the first report on the emergence of the 027 ribotype in Israel.

[1] PCR = polymerase chain reaction

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