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עמוד בית
Sun, 25.09.22

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September 2022
Avi Benov MD MHA, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Noam Fink MD, and Elon Glassberg MD MHA MBA

War is as old as history. Some may say it is older. The first Biblical war, dated 1880–1875 BCE, is depicted in the book of Genesis between nine kings in the vicinity of the Jordan river near Jericho. By the end of the war, Abraham (Abram) gets involved in saving his nephew Lot.

In addition to war, military medicine also has its roots in historical times. Hippocrates (460–377 BCE), the father of medicine, derived his medical knowledge from the battlefield, and Sushruta [1], the father of plastic surgery, mentioned the physician's preventive role in noting environmental hazards: "A common practice of the enemy is to poison the wells on the roadside, the articles of food, the shades of trees, and the fuel and forage for cattle; hence, it is incumbent on a physician marching with the troops to inspect, examine, and purify these before using any of them, in case they are poisoned."

The Greeks stated new ideas of military health, pointing to fitness promotion, gymnastics, and healthy diets to prevent illness. Over the centuries, from Alexander the Great to Napoleon’s army and wars in the 20th century, military conflicts have led to the death of hundreds of millions of people from trauma and war-related disease. Amazingly analyses of the 18th and 19th centuries have shown that 80% of the soldiers died from disease, and historians and military personnel agree that during armed conflicts in known history, only a minority of soldiers perished by the sword.

In Israel, the Israel Defense Forces-Medical Corps (IDF-MC) holds a unique position embedded in military and civilian national medicine. All medical personnel (e.g., physicians, nurses, technicians, veterinarians) who work in the IDF-MC receive their diplomas from civilian universities, train in civilian hospitals, and continue to practice in the national health system. The majority of these professionals continue to work in different civilian medical platforms in Israel after finishing their mandatory service. The IDF-MC's primary mission is to provide optimal medical care to IDF soldiers at all times (including wartime), to prevent disease and promote health, advance military medicine, and aid the civilian sector as ordered by the Government of Israel.

In this special issue of Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) is to expose readers to the continuous efforts of the IDF-MC to fulfill its mission by promoting research in multiple medical fields, including trauma, ambulatory care, health administration. In addition, in this issue of IMAJ, authors discuss the unique collaboration with the civilian system during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Trauma and trauma-related injuries are the main focus of military medical research. Ben-Avi and colleagues [2] described outcomes of emergent exploratory thoracotomies on military casualties and addresses parameters that may impact the survival of these casualties. Minervini [3] further discussed the issue. Bez et al. [4] researched the impact of isolated versus non-isolated traumatic brain injuries on injury identification and decision-making by care providers in austere scenarios. Tsur and co-authors [5] described the characteristics of a unique type of terror attack: vehicle ramming.

Additional examples of treatments provided in the military prehospital arena were analyzed by Nakar and colleagues [6] who discussed how to assess pain medications administered to trauma casualties in the past two decades by IDF-MC care providers. Rittblat et al. [7] further described the use of freeze-dried plasma, a blood component used in the prehospital arena and administered via intraosseous vascular access.

The IDF-MC is a continuously changing organization emphasizing the adoption of advanced technologies and devices. Chen et al. [8] presented a blinded study on the use of point-of-care ultrasound and remote telementored ultrasound by inexperienced operators, and Sorkin et al. [9] described the BladeShield 101: a novel device for the battlefield designed to continuously measure vital signs and medical treatment provided and to transfer data through roles of care.

In this special issue of IMAJ, authors also discusse gender-related aspects at the core of medical treatment. Segal et al. [10] examined whether missed injuries were related to the medical provider's gender, while Gelikas et al. [11] assessed whether treatment with analgesia was associated with casualty gender in the military prehospital trauma setting

Over the past two and a half years, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant part of our lives. During these years, medical systems and teams throughout Israel and around the world struggled to adapt to this new disease and save lives fighting the pandemic. Geva et al. [12] and Shental et al. [13] discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the IDF medical system, lessons learned during the outbreak, and effects of different diseases during these times on medical treatment provided by the IDF to soldiers.

David Segal MD MPH, Nitzan Shakarchy-Kaminsky MD MSc, Yair Zloof MD, Tomer Talmy MD, Galina Shapiro MD PHD, Irina Radomislensky BSc, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Erez Karp MD MHA, and Avi Benov MD MHA; Israel Trauma Group

Background: Medical organizations worldwide aim for equity and diversity in the medical profession to improve care quality. Data on whether the caregiver gender affects outcomes in the prehospital setting are essential but scarce compared to available in-hospital studies.

Objective: To analyze the rates of missed injuries in the prehospital setting and determine whether these rates were associated with the gender of the on-field physician or paramedic.

Methods: A retrospective record review was conducted, which included trauma records documented in two trauma registries, the prehospital Israel Defense Forces-Trauma Registry (IDF-TR), and the in-hospital Israeli National Trauma Registry (INTR). Missed injuries were defined as injuries documented in the INTR but not in the IDF-TR. A multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess the association between provider’s gender and missed injuries.

Results: Of 490 casualties, 369 (75.3%) were treated by teams that included only male paramedics or physicians. In 386 (78.8%) cases, a physician was a part of the prehospital team. In all, 94 (19.2%) casualties sustained injuries that were missed by the prehospital medical team. Missed injuries were not associated with the gender of the paramedic or physician (odds ratio 1.242, 95% confidence interval 0.69–2.193).

Conclusions: No association was found between the gender of the medical provider in the prehospital setting and the rate of missed injuries. These results should encourage prehospital emergency medical systems to aim for a balanced and diverse caregiver population.

February 2011
Y. Plakht, A. Shiyovich, F. Lauthman, Y. Shoshan, D. Antonovitch, N. Waknine, T. Barabi and M. Sherf

Background: During military escalations emergency departments provide treatment both to victims of conflict-related injuries and to routine admissions. This requires special deployment by the hospitals to optimize utilization of resources.

Objectives: To evaluate “routine” visits to the ED[1] during Operation Cast Lead in Israel in 2008–2009.

Methods: We obtained data regarding routine visits to the ED at Soroka University Medical Center throughout OCL[2]. The visits one month before and after OCL and the corresponding periods one year previous served as controls.

Results: The mean number of daily visits throughout the study period (126 days) was 506 ± 80.9, which was significantly lower during OCL (443.5 ± 82) compared with the reference periods (P < 0.001). Compared to the reference periods, during OCL the relative rates were higher among Bedouins, visitors from the region closest to the Gaza Strip (< 30 km), patients transported to the ED by ambulance and patients of employment age; the rates were lower among children. No difference in the different periods was found in the rate of women patients, distance of residence from Beer Sheva, rate of patients referred to the ED by a community physician, and hour of arrival. The overall in-hospital admission rate increased during OCL, mainly in the internal medicine and the obstetric departments. There was no change in the number of in-hospital births during OCL; however, the rate of preterm labors (32–36 weeks) decreased by 41% (P = 0.013).

Conclusions: Throughout OCL the number of routine ED visits decreased significantly compared to the control periods. This finding could help to optimize the utilization of hospital resources during similar periods.

 






[1] ED = emergency department



[2] OCL = Operation Cast Lead


August 2005
I. Klaz, Y. Wohl, N. Nathansohn, N. Yerushalmi, S. Sharvit, I. Kochba and S. Brenner
 Background: The Israel Defense Forces implemented a pilot teledermatology service in primary clinics.

Objectives: To assess user satisfaction and clinical short-term effectiveness of a computerized store and forward teledermatology service in urban and rural units.

Methods: A multi-center, prospective, uncontrolled, cohort pilot trial was conducted for a period of 6 months. Primary care physicians referred patients to a board-certified dermatologist using text email accompanied by digital photographs. Diagnosis, therapy and management were sent back to the referring PCP[1]. Patients were asked to evaluate the level of the CSAFTD[2] service, effect of the service on accessibility to dermatologists, respect for privacy, availability of drugs, health improvement and overall satisfaction. PCPs assessed the quality of the teledermatology consultations they received, the contribution to their knowledge, and their overall satisfaction.

Results: Tele-diagnosis alone was possible for 95% (n=413) of 435 CSAFTD referrals; 22% (n=95) of referrals also required face-to-face consultation. Satisfaction with CSAFTD was high among patients in both rural and urban clinics, with significantly higher scores in rural units. Rural patients rated the level of service, accessibility and overall satisfaction higher than did urban patients. PCPs were satisfied with the quality of the service and its contribution to their knowledge. Rural physicians rated level of service and overall satisfaction higher than the urban physicians. Tele-referrals were completed more efficiently than referral for face-to-face appointments.

Conclusions: CSAFTD provided efficient, high quality medical service to rural and urban military clinics in the IDF[3].


 



[1] PCP = primary care physician

[2] CSAFTD = computerized store and forward teledermatology

[3] IDF = Israel Defense Force



 
November 1999
Ron Ben-Abraham MD, Michael Stein MD, Gideon Paret MD, Robert Cohen MD, Joshua Shemer MD, Avraham Rivkind MD and Yoram Kluger MD
Background: Since its introduction in Israel, more than 4,000 physicians from various specialties and diverse medical backgrounds have participated in the Advanced Trauma Life Support course.

Objectives: To analyze the factors that influence the success of physicians in the ATLS®1 written tests.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of 4,475 physicians participating in the Israeli ATLS® training program between 1990 and 1996. Several variables in the records of these physicians were related to their success or failure in the final written examination of the course.

Results: Age, the region of medical schooling, and the medical specialty were found to significantly influence the successful completion of the ATLS® course.

Conclusions: Physicians younger than 45 years of age or with a surgical specialty are more likely to graduate the ATLS® course. The success rate could be improved if the program’s text and questionnaires were translated into Hebrew. 

1ATLS® = Advanced Trauma Life Support

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