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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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April 2021
Eytan Damari MD, Alon Farfel MD, Itai Berger MD, Reut Ron, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The effect of extended shift length on pediatric residency is controversial. Israeli residents perform shifts extending up to 26 hours, a practice leading to general dissatisfaction. In early 2020, during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many Israeli hospitals transitioned from 26-hour shifts to 13-hour shifts in fixed teams (capsules) followed by a 24-hour rest period at home. The regulation changes enacted by the Israeli government during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity to assess perception by residents regarding length of shifts before and after the change.

Objectives: To assess perception of pediatric residency in three aspects: resident wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and acquisition of medical education following the change to the shorter shifts model.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational study among pediatric residents. Residents completed an online self-assessment questionnaire before and after the COVID-19 emergency regulations changed toward shorter shifts.

Results: Sixty-seven residents answered the questionnaires before (37) and after (30) the shift changes. The average score was significantly better for the 13-hour shifts versus the 26-hour shifts, except for questions regarding available time for research. There was a positive perception regarding the shorter night shifts model among pediatric residents, with an increase in general satisfaction and improvement in perception of general wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and medical education acquisition.

Conclusions: Following the change to shorter shift length, perception of pediatric residents included improvement in wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and availability of medical education

May 2017
Alon Farfel MD, Rona Rabinowicz MD, Gadi Abebe-Campino MD, Estela Derazne MsC, Tami Laron-Kenet MD and Zvi Laron MD
July 2016
Avivit Brener MD, Eran Mel MD, Shlomit Shalitin MD, Liora Lazar MD, Liat de Vries MD, Ariel Tenenbaum MD, Tal Oron MD, Alon Farfel MD, Moshe Phillip MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are exempt from conscript military service, but some volunteer for national service. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of national service (military or civil) on metabolic control and incidence of acute diabetes complications in young adults with T1D. 

Methods: Clinical and laboratory data of 145 T1D patients were retrieved from medical records. The cohort comprised 76 patients volunteering for national service and 69 non-volunteers. Outcome measures were HbA1c, body mass index-standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS), insulin dosage, and occurrence of severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). 

Results: Metabolic control was similar in volunteers and non-volunteers: mean HbA1c at various time points was: 7.83 ± 1.52% vs. 8.07% ± 1.63 one year before enlistment age, 7.89 ± 1.36% vs. 7.93 ± 1.42% at enlistment age, 7.81 ± 1.28% vs. 8.00 ± 1.22% one year thereafter, 7.68 ± 0.88% vs. 7.82 ± 1.33% two years thereafter, and 7.62 ± 0.80% vs. 7.79 ± 1.19% three years thereafter. There were no significant changes in HbA1c from baseline throughout follow-up. BMI and insulin requirements were similar and remained unchanged in volunteers and controls: mean BMI-SDS one year before enlistment age was 0.23 ± 0.83 vs. 0.29 ± 0.95, at enlistment age 0.19 ± 0.87 vs. 0.25 ± 0.98, one year thereafter 0.25 ± 0.82 vs. 0.20 ± 0.96, two years thereafter 0.10 ± 0.86 vs. 0.15 ± 0.94, and three years thereafter 0.20 ± 0.87 vs. 0.16 ± 0.96. Mean insulin dose in U/kg/day one year before enlistment age was 0.90 ± 0.23 vs. 0.90 ± 0.37, at enlistment age 0.90 ± 0.28 vs. 0.93 ± 0.33, one year thereafter 0.86 ± 0.24 vs. 0.95 ± 0.33, two years thereafter 0.86 ± 0.21 vs. 0.86 ± 0.29, and three years thereafter 0.87 ± 0.23 vs. 0.86 ± 0.28. There were no episodes of severe hypoglycemia or DKA in either group. 

Conclusions: Our data indicate that during voluntary national service young adults with T1D maintain metabolic control similar to that of non-volunteers. 


February 2012
A. Farfel, E. Derazne, D. Tzur, N. Linder and Z. Laron

Background: Measurements of adolescents who at birth were large (long and/or heavy) for gestational age are scant.

Objectives: To determine the correlation between birth length and weight in female and male neonates born long and/or overweight for gestational age, with their height and weight at age 17.

Methods: We reviewed the records of the Rabin Medical Center for birth data of 96 full-term neonates born long and overweight for gestational age (FT-lo,ow), 33 full-term neonates born long but with normal weight for gestational age (FT-lo,nw), 148 full-term neonates born overweight but with normal length for gestational age (FT-nl,ow), and 401 full-term neonates born with normal birth length and weight (FT- nl,nw).

Results: Neonates of both genders born long and overweight at birth (FT-lo,ow) were taller and heavier at age 17 years than those born FT-nl,nw: females: 167.8 ± 5.1 cm and 64.6 ± 10.3 kg vs. 162.6 ± 5.5 cm and 59.3 ± 11.1 kg (P < 0.001 for height and P = 0.026 for weight) and males: 182.4 ± 8.1 cm and 80.6 ± 20.4 kg vs. 174.5 ± 6.2 cm and 67.4 ± 12.3 kg (P < 0.001). The correlations between birth length and height at age 17 for both genders were statistically significant (P < 0.001), as were those between birth weight and the weight and body mass index (BMI) at age 17 for both genders (P < 0.001). There was no correlation between birth length and weight or BMI at age 17.

Conclusions: Full-term neonates of both genders born large for gestational age become tall adolescents and weigh more at age 17 than children with a normal birth length and weight.

August 2010
A. Farfel, D. Hardoff, A. Afek and A. Ziv

Background: Simulation-based medical education has become a powerful tool in improving the quality of care provided by health professionals.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a simulated patient-based educational program for military recruitment center physicians on the quality of medical encounters with adolescent candidates for military service.

Methods: Twelve physicians participated in an educational intervention that included a one day SP[1]-based workshop, where simulations of eight typical candidates for military service were conducted. Assessment of the physicians' performance before and after the intervention was based on questionnaires filled by 697 and 508 military candidates respectively, upon completion of their medical examination by these physicians. The questionnaire explored health topics raised by the examining physician as well as the atmosphere during the encounter. The candidates were also asked whether they had omitted important medical information during the medical encounter.

Results: Pre- and post-intervention comparison revealed significant changes in the percentages of candidates who reported that they were asked questions related to psychosocial topics: school problems – 59.7% and 68.9% (P = 0.01), protected sex – 29.6% and 36.4% (P = 0.01), mood changes – 46.9% and 52.2% (P = 0.05) respectively. Physicians were perceived as being interested in the candidates by 68.2% of the candidates before the intervention and 77.5% after (P < 0.01). The percentage of candidates who reported omitting medical information decreased from 6.6% before the intervention to 2.4% after (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: A simulated patient-based educational program for military physicians improved the quality of physician-candidate encounters. Such programs may serve as an effective instrument for training physicians to communicate with adolescents.

[1] SP = simulated patient

July 2009
D. Dvir, R. Beigel, C. Hoffmann, G. Tsarfati, Z. Farfel and R. Pauzner
March 2007
A. Farfel, M.S. Green, T. Shochat, I. Noyman, Y. Levy and A. Afek

Background: Most Israeli males aged 16–17 undergo a thorough medical examination prior to recruitment into the army. During the last 50 years, extensive data have been gathered enabling a study of time trends in the prevalence of common diseases in this age group.

Objectives: To examine the current prevalence of common diseases, compare the results with those of previous cohorts, and assess the influence of the massive immigration during the 1990s.         

Methods: The health examination at the recruitment centers includes a medical history, complete physical examination, and review of medical documentation provided by the family physician. If needed, additional tests and referral to specialists are ordered. The prevalence of selected diseases and severity was drawn from the computerized database of the classification board. Two cohorts, 1992–94 and 2003–04, were examined and compared with three previous cohort studies in 1957–61, 1977–78 and 1982–84. Data were stratified according to origin and country of birth.

Results: The prevalence of asthma increased dramatically during the years from 10.2 per 1000 examinees in 1957–61 to 111.6 per 1000 examinees in 2003–04. The prevalence of tuberculosis declined and then increased from 0.6 per 1000 adolescents in 1982–84 to 2.4 per 1000 adolescents in 2003–04. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus increased from 0.2 cases per 1000 examinees in 1957–61 to 0.8 cases in 1977–78 and 1982–84 and 0.9 cases per 1000 examinees in 2003–04. The prevalence of severe heart defects and severe epilepsy declined in the last 20 years (1.4 and 1.7 cases per 1000 examinees in the 1982–84 cohort to 0.4 and 0.3 cases per 1000 examinees in the 2003–4 cohort respectively). The patterns of disease prevalence were different for immigrants: tuberculosis was more common while asthma and allergic rhinitis were less prevalent.

Conclusions: The prevalence of common diseases among adolescents in Israel has changed over the last 50 years. There is a different pattern for immigrants and for those born in Israel.


October 1999
Peretz Weiss MD, Meir Mouallem MD, Rafael Bruck MD, David Hassin MD, Amir Tanay MD, Chaim M. Brickman MD, Zvi Farfel MD and Simon Bar-Meir MD
 Background: Nimesulide is a relatively new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is gaining popularity in many countries because it is a selective cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor. Occasionally, treatment is associated with mild elevation of liver enzymes, which return to normal upon discontinuation of the drug. Several cases of nimesulide-induced symptomatic hepatitis were also recently reported, but these patients all recovered.

Objectives: To report the characteristics of liver injury induced by nimesulide.

Patients and Methods: We report retrospectively six patients, five of them females with a median age of 59 years, whose aminotransferase levels rose after they took nimesulide for joint pains. In all patients nimesulide was discontinued, laboratory tests for viral and autoimmune causes of hepatitis were performed, and sufficient follow-up was available.

Results: One patient remained asymptomatic. Four patients presented with symptoms, including fatigue, nausea and vomiting, which had developed several weeks after they began taking nimesulide (median 10 weeks, range 2–13). Hepatocellular injury was observed with median peak serum alanine aminotransferase 15 times the upper limit of normal (range 4–35), reversing to normal 2–4 months after discontinuation of the drug. The remaining patient eveloped symptoms, but continued taking the drug for another 2 weeks. She subsequently developed acute hepatic failure with encephalopathy and hepatorenal syndrome and died 6 weeks after hospitalization. In none of the cases did serological tests for hepatitis A, B and C, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus, as well as autoimmune hepatitis reveal findings.

Conclusions: Nimesulide may cause liver damage. The clinical presentation may vary from abnormal liver enzyme levels with no symptoms, to fatal hepatic failure. Therefore, monitoring liver enzymes after initiating therapy with nimesulide seems prudent.

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