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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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September 2022
Mor Rittblat MD, Lilach Gavish PhD, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Avi Benov MD MHA, and Amir Shlaifer MD

Background: Freeze dried plasma (FDP) is a commonly used replacement fluid in the prehospital setting when blood products are unavailable. It is normally administered via a peripheral intravenous (PIV) line. However, in severe casualties, when establishing a PIV is difficult, administration via intraosseous vascular access is a practical alternative, particularly under field conditions.

Objectives: To evaluate the indications and success rate of intraosseous administration of FDP in casualties treated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Methods: A retrospective analysis of data from the IDF-Trauma Registry was conducted. It included all casualties treated with FDP via intraosseous from 2013 to 2019 with additional data on the technical aspects of deployment collected from the caregivers of each case.

Results: Of 7223 casualties treated during the study period, intravascular access was attempted in 1744; intraosseous in 87 of those. FDP via intraosseous was attempted in 15 (0.86% of all casualties requiring intravascular access). The complication rate was 73% (11/15 of casualties). Complications were more frequent when the event included multiple casualties or when the injury included multiple organs. Of the 11 failed attempts, 5 were reported as due to slow flow of the FDP through the intraosseous apparatus. Complications in the remaining six were associated with deployment of the intraosseous device.

Conclusions: Administration of FDP via intraosseous access in the field requires a high skill level.

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.

August 2022
Nir Tsur MD, Omri Frig BSc, Orna Steinberg-Shemer MD, Hannah Tamary MD, Noga Kurman MD, Aviram Mizrachi MD, and Aron Popovtzer MD

Background: Recent studies show a high risk of developing malignancy in patients with Fanconi anemia. The most common solid tumor in this condition is head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and there is often uncertainty and about disease behavior as well as chemotherapy and radiation response.

Objectives: To describe and characterize HNSCC among Fanconi anemia patients on the Israeli Fanconi Registry

Methods: Our study population included patients in Israel's inherited bone marrow failure registry who were diagnosed with Fanconi anemia between1980 and 2016. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient charts.

Results: From the collected data, HNSCC was confirmed in 6/111 (5.4%) Fanconi anemia patients; 1 (17%) had classic HNSCC risk factors of tobacco abuse and 4 (56%) had undergone primary surgery. The 3 (50%) receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy had mild side effects, while half developed metachronous primary malignancy, and all developed > 2 primary malignancies. The overall median survival of the patients in our study was 14 (0.5–57) months.

Conclusions: Fanconi anemia patients have a very high risk of developing HNSCC. Proactive screening for malignancies is needed for the head and neck regions. We also found that chemoradiotherapy can be used safely in high-stage cancers.

Ido Tzanani MD MPH, Daniel Bendayan MD, Anat Jaffe MD PHD, and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the risk factors for progression from latent to active tuberculosis. However, the effect of DM on subsequent tuberculosis treatment is still inconclusive.

Objectives: To compare tuberculosis treatment outcomes and the rate of drug resistance of tuberculosis patients with or without DM.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted between 2005 and 2015 at the only tuberculosis ward in Israel. All 80 tuberculosis patients who had DM and were hospitalized during the study period were included in this study, as were a randomized sample of 213 tuberculosis patients without DM. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient files in the hospital and clinics after discharge.

Results: Tuberculosis patients with DM were more often older and more likely to be Israeli citizens with a lower socioeconomic status than patients without DM. No statistically significant differences were found in clinical presentation, radiological findings, and sputum smear tests between the two groups. Culture converting times were prolonged in patients with DM compared to normoglycemic patients. Multidrug drug resistance tuberculosis was more common among normoglycemic tuberculosis patients than tuberculosis patients with DM (9.2% vs. 1.6%, P = 0.12). Treatment success rates were 76.2% and 83.1% for tuberculosis patients with or without DM, respectively (P = 0.18). DM was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis predicting treatment success, which controlled for age, citizenship, compliance, addictions, and chronic diseases.

Conclusions: The presence of DM does not necessarily affect tuberculosis treatment outcomes as long as treatment compliance is optimal.

Yael Bliman-Tal MD, Irena Rabinovich MD, Marina Pekar-Zlotin MD, Yaakov Melcer MD, Neta Eisenberg MD, and Noam Smorgick MD

Background: Laparoscopic removal of ovarian dermoid cysts has been associated with increased risk for recurrence.

Objectives: To investigate the risk factors associated with recurrence of dermoid cysts.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all women who underwent cystectomy for ovarian dermoid cysts by laparoscopy or laparotomy. At discharge, patients were instructed to undergo a yearly ultrasound exam. A follow-up telephone call was conducted to assess whether an additional surgery for dermoid cysts was required and whether ultrasound recurrence of dermoid cysts was suspected.

Results: The study cohort included 102 participants (92 [90.2%] operated by laparoscopy and 10 [9.8%] by laparotomy). The mean follow-up from the index surgery to the interview was 72.1 ± 38.2 months. The rates of recurrent surgery were similar among women who underwent laparoscopic cystectomy compared with laparotomy (5/92 [5.4%] vs. 1/10 [10.0%], respectively; P = 0.5), while the rates of reported ultrasound recurrence were significantly lower in the laparoscopy group compared with the laparotomy group (10/102 [10.9%] vs. 4/10 [40.0%], respectively; P = 0.03). Additional factors including age, cyst diameter, diagnosis of torsion, intraoperative cyst spillage, estimated blood loss, intraperitoneal adhesions, and postoperative fever were not associated with recurrence.

Conclusions: Ultrasound recurrence of dermoid cysts is not uncommon and could be associated with the surgical approach.

July 2022
Adnan Zaina MD, Ilan Shimon MD, Ali Abid MD,Eldad Arad MD,Elzbieta Baron MD, Elena Golden MD, Michal Gershinsky MD, Nariman Saba Khazen MD, Mohammed Abu Saleh MD, Noga Roguin Maor MD, Orit Bardicef MD, Yulia Pauker MD and Sameer Kassem MD

Background: National registries for acromegaly and population-based data make an important contribution to disease understanding and management. Data concerning the epidemiology of acromegaly in Israel is scanty.

Objectives: To evaluate the epidemiology of acromegaly in different industrial areas in northern Israel.

Methods: Data from adult patients diagnosed with acromegaly from 2000 to 2020, living in Haifa and the western Galilee District were collected using the electronic database and medical records from Clalit Health Services. The prevalence of acromegaly in three distinct areas and overall were reported. In addition, other epidemiological data including associated co-morbidities, pituitary tumor size, and treatment modalities were collected.

Results: We identified 77 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acromegaly. The overall prevalence was 155 cases/106 inhabitants without statistically significant differences between the three areas. The mean age at diagnosis was 50 ± 1.8 years and the male to female ratio was 1.1. Macroadenoma and microadenoma were identified in 44 (57%) and 25 (33%), respectively. The frequency rate of acromegaly-associated co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, carpal tunnel syndrome, and osteoporosis was similar to previously reported studies. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 29 ± 5.6 kg/m2 .Obesity, with a BMI ≥ of 30 kg/m2, was found in 29 patients (38%). The majority of patients underwent transsphenoidal surgery 67 (87%). Normalized insulin-like growth factor 1 was reported in 64 (83%).

Conclusions: A high prevalence of acromegaly was found in northern Israel. The pituitary microadenoma frequency rate is the highest reported.

Amit Frenkel MD MHA, Victor Novack MD PhD, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Moti Klein MD MPH, and Jacob Dreiher MD PhD MPH

Background: Low serum albumin is known to be associated with mortality in sepsis, as it reflects effects of nutrition, catabolism, and edema.

Objectives: To examine the association of albumin levels with in-hospital mortality in adults with sepsis, stratified by age groups.

Methods: This nationwide retrospective cohort study comprised patients admitted with sepsis to intensive care units in seven tertiary hospitals during 2003–2011. Only patients with available serum albumin levels at hospital admission and one week after were included. Patients with an intra-abdominal source of sepsis were excluded. The association between sepsis and mortality was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: The study included 3967 patients (58.7% male, median age 69 years). Mean serum albumin levels were 3.1 ± 0.7 g/dl at admission and 2.4 ± 0.6 g/dl one week later. In a multivariate logistic regression model, serum albumin one week after admission was inversely associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.55–0.73 per 1 g/dl). In an age-stratified analysis, the association was stronger with younger age (OR 0.44 for patients aged < 45 years, 0.60 for patients aged 45–65 years, and 0.67 for patients aged > 65 years). Serum albumin on admission was not associated with in-hospital mortality.

Conclusions: The decline in serum albumin one week after admission is a stronger predictor of mortality in younger patients. Older patients might have other reasons for low serum albumin, which reflect chronic co-morbidity rather than acuity of disease.

Eran Beit Ner MD, Guy Ron MD, Ahmad Essa MD, Almog Levy MD, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, and Eran Tamir MD

Background: Lower extremity amputation related to diabetes is a serious outcome, which can have devastating effects on the patient and family. The epidemiology of amputations has recently been used as a possible measure of the adequacy of medical prevention and treatment of diabetes and diabetic foot complications.

Objectives: To report on patients undergoing amputations at one medical center in Israel, their co-morbidities, and the outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective chart study was conducted of amputees operated between 1 September 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Results: The study population comprised 72 patients who had major amputations for diabetes and/or ischemia, mean age 72 ± 10 years, 74% males, 93% with type 2 diabetes. Mean age corrected Charlson Comorbidity Index was 8.2 ± 2.1 with 90% (65 patients) presenting with a score of 6 or higher. Before the recent deterioration, fewer than 20% of the patients exited their home routinely and 24% had an official diagnosis of dementia. There were 31 below knee amputations (BKA) and 41 above knee amputations (AKA). The 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year mortality rates were 15.3%, 27.8%, 43.1%, and 54.2% respectively. Median survival period was 20 months. Survival after AKA was 13.4 ± 20, which was significantly less than after BKA (25.4 ± 2.7, P = 0.097).

Conclusions: Factors other than the quality of management of patients with diabetes and complications may contribute to amputation rates; thus, making speculations from international comparisons of raw amputation rates problematic. This population was less healthy than reported in most studies.

June 2022
Yael Steinfeld-Mass PT MSc, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA, Shmuel Fay MD, Eli Pinchevsky MD, Liron Gershovitz MD, and Noa Ben Ami PT PhD

Background: Over the past several years there has been a marked increase in the number of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers having hip arthroscopy based on magnetic resonance arthrography diagnosis of hip labral tears and/or impingement.

Objectives: To detail characteristics of soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy and assess outcomes and rate of return to duty.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy 2018 to 2020, and soldiers referred for hip arthroscopy during 2021. Demographic, medical, and military service data were collected from the computerized patient record.

Results: Our study comprised 117 soldiers (29% combatants, 24% females) who underwent hip arthroscopy, mean age 22 ± 3 years, range 18–42; 45% had physiotherapy before surgery; 31% were diagnosed during or within 3 months of having back pain and 20% had been referred for psychological assistance (not related to the hip pain); 15.4% had serious adverse events. The mean time to return to any duty (including clerical work) was 8.0 ± 0.6 months; 56% of the soldiers never returned to service and were discharged from the military. During the one-year follow-up, only 6% returned to their full pre-symptom activity.

Conclusions: The short-term results of IDF soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy during the study period were much inferior to those reported among athletes. The lack of specificity of the diagnostic tools (history, examination, and imaging) used to determine whether surgery for hip pain is likely to be beneficial in this population may be contributing to over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

Royi Barnea PhD, Ruti Berger PhD, Yossi Weiss PhD MPH, and Joshua Shemer MD

Overuse of healthcare services is a common phenomenon defined as: “a healthcare service that is provided under circumstances in which its potential for harm exceeds the possible benefit.” It is expressed in the gap between desired services and available ones and is accompanied by high financial and human life costs. One-fifth to one-third of patients receives unnecessary, ineffective, or potentially harmful treatments or services. One of the greatest challenges to understanding overuse is the lack of definition for appropriate use. Apart from the physical and mental damage caused by overuse or improper use of medical services, this phenomenon has many implications, such as increasing waiting times for services, creating long queues, and incurring considerable financial costs as over 10% of hospital expenses are used to correct medical errors or preventable infections. Government intervention through economic arrangements such as deductibles and pre-authorization of services by the insurer are partially effective in reducing the overuse of health services. Additional solutions include ensuring safety and quality of care as well as shared decision-making.

May 2022
Issac Levy MD, Dolev Dollberg MD, Ron Berant MD, and Ronit Friling MD

Background: Data on how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected consultations in ophthalmic departments are sparse.

Objectives: To examine the epidemiology of ophthalmic consultations in a large pediatric emergency medicine department (PED) during the first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in Israel.

Methods: The database of a tertiary pediatric medical center was retrospectively reviewed for patients aged < 18 years who attended the PED from 17 March to 30 April 2020 (first COVID-19 lockdown) and the corresponding period in 2019. Background, clinical, and disease-related data were collected from the medical charts and compared between groups.

Results: The study included 757 PED visits. There were no significant differences in demographics between the groups. The 2020 period was characterized by a decrease in PED visits (by 52%), increase in arrivals during late afternoon and evening (P = 0.013), decrease in visits of older children (age 5–10 year), and proportional increase in younger children (age 1–5 years) (P = 0.011). The most common diagnoses overall and during each period was trauma followed by conjunctivitis and eyelid inflammation. The mechanisms of trauma differed (P = 0.002), with an increase in sharp trauma and decrease in blunt trauma in 2020 (P < 0.001 for both). In 2020, 95% of traumatic events occurred in the home compared to 54% in 2019 (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Parents need to learn appropriate preventive and treatment measures to prevent serious and long-term ophthalmic injury while minimizing their exposure to the COVID-19. PEDs and ophthalmic pediatric clinics should consider increasing use of telemedicine and the availability of more senior physicians as consultants during such times.

Olga Vera-Lastra MD, Erik Cimé-Aké MD, Alberto Ordinola Navarro MD, Joel Eduardo Morales-Gutiérrez MD, Orestes de Jesús Cobos-Quevedo MD, Jorge Hurtado-Díaz MD, María Lucero Espinoza-Sánchez MD, Ana Lilia Peralta-Amaro MD, María Pilar Cruz-Domínguez MD, Gabriela Medina MD, Antonio Fraga-Mouret MD, Jesus Sepulveda-Delgado MD, and Luis J. Jara MD

Background: Patients with autoimmune disease (AID) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could have higher mortality due to the co-morbidity and the use of immunosuppressive therapy.

Objectives: To analyze the risk factors and outcomes of patients with AID and COVID-19 versus a control group.

Methods: A prospective cohort study included patients with and without AID and COVID-19. Patients were paired by age and sex. Clinical, biochemical, immunological treatments, and outcomes (days of hospital stay, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], oxygen at discharge, and death) were collected.

Results: We included 226 COVID-19 patients: 113 with AID (51.15 ± 14.3 years) and 113 controls (53.45 ± 13.3 years). The most frequent AIDs were Rheumatoid arthritis (26.5%), systemic lupus erythematosus (21%), and systemic sclerosis (14%). AID patients had lower lactate dehydrogenas, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, IMV (P = 0.027), and oxygen levels at discharge (P ≤ 0.0001) and lower death rates (P ≤ 0.0001). Oxygen saturation (SaO2) ≤ 88% at hospitalization provided risk for IMV (RR [relative risk] 3.83, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.1–13.6, P = 0.038). Higher creatinine and LDH levels were associated with death in the AID group. SaO2 ≤ 88% and CO-RADS ≥ 4 were risk factors for in-hospital mortality (RR 4.90, 95%CI 1.8–13.0, P = 0.001 and RR 7.60, 95%CI 1.4–39.7, P = 0.016, respectively). Anticoagulant therapy was protective (RR 0.36, 95%CI 0.1–0.9, P = 0.041)

Conclusions: Patients with AID had better outcomes with COVID-19 than controls. Anticoagulation was associated with a lower death in patients with AID.

Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Oded Zmora MD, Hilli Nativ MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD, Jonathan Hammerschlag MD, and Igor Jeroukhimov MD

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on healthcare systems worldwide. The fear of seeking medical attention to avoid the possibility of being infected may have altered the course of some diseases.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the management of patients with acute cholecystitis during the pandemic at our medical center.

Methods: We compared patients treated for acute cholecystitis between 1 March and 31 August 2020 (Group I) to patients admitted with the same diagnosis during the same months in 2019 (Group II). We evaluated demographics, presenting symptoms, laboratory and imaging findings at presentation, the disease's clinical course, management, and outcome.

Results: Group I consisted of 101 patients and group II included 94 patients. No differences were noted for age (66 years, IQR 48–78 vs. 66 years, IQR 47–76; P = 0.50) and sex (57.4% vs. 51.1% females; P = 0.39) between the two groups. The delay between symptom onset and hospital admission was longer for Group I patients (3 days, IQR 2–7 vs. 2 days, IQR 1–3; P = 0.002). Moderate to severe disease was more commonly encountered in Group I (59.4% vs. 37.2%, P = 0.003). Group I patients more often failed conservative management (36% vs. 6%, P = 0.001) and had a higher conversion rate to open surgery (15.4% vs. 0%, P = 0.025).

Conclusions: Patients presenting with acute cholecystitis during the COVID-19 pandemic more often presented late to the emergency department and more showed adverse outcomes

Moria Mahanaimy MD MPH, Uriah Finkel MA, Noam Barda MD PhD, Eytan Roitman MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Adi Berliner Senderey MSc MPH, and Becca Feldman ScD

Background: The association between use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) inhibitors and both SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of severe COVID-19 has been presented in the recent medical literature with inconsistent results.

Objectives: To assess the association between RAAS inhibitor use and two outcomes: infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Model 1) and severe COVID-19 among those infected (Model 2).

Methods: We accessed used electronic health records of individuals from Israel who were receiving anti-hypertensive medications for this retrospective study. For Model 1 we used a case-control design. For Model 2 we used a cohort design. In both models, inverse probability weighting adjusted for identified confounders as part of doubly robust outcome regression.

Results: We tested 38,554 individuals for SARS-CoV-2 who had hypertension and were being treated with medication; 691 had a positive test result. Among those with a positive test, 119 developed severe illness. There was no association between RAAS inhibitor use and a positive test. Use of RAAS inhibitors was associated with a decreased risk for severe COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.47, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.29–0.77) compared with users of non-RAAS anti-hypertensive medication. The association remained significant when use of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (adjusted OR 0.46, 95%CI 0.27–0.77) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (adjusted OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.16–0.95) were analyzed separately.

Conclusions: Among individuals with hypertension using RAAS inhibitors, we found a lower risk of severe disease compared to those using non-RAAS anti-hypertensive medications. This finding suggests that RAAS inhibitors may have a protective effect on COVID-19 severity among individuals with medically treated hypertension.

Nomy Levin-Iaina MD, Avital Angel-Korman MD, Adi Leiba MD MHA, Esther Peres MD, Gabriel Bryk PhD, Vladimir Rapoport MD, Zeev Katzir MD, Yoram Yagil MD, and Tal Brosh-Nissimov MD MHA

Background: The reduced immune response of maintenance hemodialysis patients to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines is a major concern.

Objectives: To analyze the late (6 months after full vaccination) antibody response and compare it to early post-vaccination titer.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter prospective study of 13 hemodialysis units in Israel.

Results: We demonstrated that the low titers observed among ESRD patients 2–3 months after vaccination with the Comirnaty vaccine (median 63.8 AU/ml) declined to critically lower values 6 months after full vaccination. (Mediananti S antibodies, 31 AU/ml). Seropositivity significantly declined among hemodialysis patients from 89% to 74% (P < 0.0001), although it did not significantly change among controls.

Conclusions: We recommend all patients on hemodialysis receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine 6 months after the second dose.

 

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