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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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August 2020
Eli Jaffe PhD, Roman Sonkin B.EMS, Evan Avraham Alpert MD, Avi Magid PhD and Haim Y. Knobler MD

Background: The potential excess flow of patients into emergency departments and community clinics for testing and examination during a pandemic poses a major issue. These additional patients may lead to the risk of viral transmission to other patients and medical teams. To contain the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), the Israeli Ministry of Health initiated a plan spearheaded by Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency medical services (EMS) organization.

Objectives: To describe outbreak containment actions initiated by MDA, including a COVID-19 tele-triage center and home testing by paramedics.

Methods: Retrospective analysis was conducted of de-identified data from the call management and command and control systems during the first period of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel (23 February 2020–15 March 2020).

Results: During the study period, the total number of calls to the dispatch centers was 477,321 with a daily average of 21,696, compared to 6000–6500 during routine times. The total number of COVID-19 related calls was 334,230 (daily average 15,194). There were 28,454 calls (8.51% of all COVID-19 related calls, average 1293/day) transferred to the COVID-19 call center. Of the COVID-19 call center inquiries, 8390 resulted in the dispatch of a dedicated vehicle, including a paramedic wearing personal protective equipment, to collect samples for testing (daily average 381).

Conclusions: Maximizing EMS during a pandemic using phone triage, in addition to dispatching paramedics to perform home testing, may significantly distance infected patients from the public and health care system. These steps can further minimize the spread of disease.

April 2019
Nadya Kagansky MD, Hilla Knobler MD, Marina Stein-Babich, Hillary Voet PhD, Adi Shalit, Jutta Lindert PhD MPH and Haim Y. Knobler MD

Background: Reports of longevity in Holocaust survivors (HS) conflict with excess prevalence of chronic diseases described among them. However, data on their long-term risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are limited. Clinical data on large representative groups of HS who were exposed to severe persecution are also limited.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of CVD and the risk factors in a large cohort of elderly HS compared to elderly individuals who were not exposed to the Holocaust (NHS).

Methods: CVD prevalence rates and risk factors data from the computerized system of the central district of Clalit Health Services, the largest Israeli health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel were evaluated in a retrospective observational study. The study was comprised of 4004 elderly HS who underwent direct severe persecution. They were randomly matched by identification numbers to 4004 elderly NHS.

Results: HS were older than NHS and 51% of them were older than 85 years. The prevalence rate of ischemic heart disease (IHD) was significantly higher among HS. HS underwent significantly more cardiac interventions (20% vs. 15.7%, P < 0.05). HS status was an independent risk factor for increased IHD and for more coronary interventions.

Conclusions: Despite having a higher prevalence of CVD, a substantial number of HS live long lives. This finding may imply both unique resilience and ability to cope with chronic illness of the survivors as well as adjusted medical services for this population. These findings may help in planning the treatment of other mass trauma survivors.

September 2010
E. Jaffe, E. Aviel, L. Aharonson-Daniel, M. Nave and H.Y. Knobler

Background: Professional volunteers play a crucial role in reinforcing emergency medical services in Israel. In order to encourage volunteers to return for additional shifts, the organization should provide conditions that will assure the return, particularly at a time of self-risk such as war. In 2009 Israeli emergency medical services (Magen David Adom) were required to increase preparedness in the southern part of the country due to missile attacks on civilian populations, while continuing their routine activities, i.e., responding promptly to emergency events. In order to perform these multiple functions, MDA[1] stations in the towns under attack were strengthened with volunteers from other regions of the country. These volunteers, trained as paramedics, served in 24–48 hour shifts.

Objectives: To identify the factors influencing the willingness of volunteers to return.

Methods: A questionnaire was used to assess the satisfaction of volunteers participating in the reinforcement with regard to their physical environment, job assignment and the actual activity they were involved in. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software.

Results: During the 10 days of the study, 121 volunteers reinforced southern MDA stations and 99 (81%) of them responded to the questionnaire. We found that volunteers' willingness to return to do more shifts was affected by their welcome and reception at the station, their job assignment, and their training and preparation for performing the necessary tasks. The sleeping conditions and the number of events they participated in were also contributing factors.

Conclusions: Factors that contribute to the willingness of volunteers to re-volunteer should be taken into account by organizations that rely on them.






[1] MDA = Magen David Adom


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