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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

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January 2015
Orna Nitzan MD, Yoram Kennes PHD, Raul Colodner PHD, Walid Saliba MD MPH, Hana Edelstein, Raul Raz MD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, there has been renewed interest in old drugs that have fallen into disuse because of toxic side effects. One such drug is chloramphenicol. Data on the use and susceptibility patterns to chloramphenicol in developed countries in recent years are limited.

Objectives: To assess the susceptibility of bacteria to chloramphenicol, and evaluate the use of chloramphenicol in Israeli hospitals as influenced by infectious disease specialists’ attitudes with regard to its potential harms.

Methods: A national survey was conducted in all Israeli hospitals. Questionnaires were sent to the directors of infectious disease units and included items on chloramphenicol susceptibility in clinical isolates, use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of inpatients, local recommendations for use of chloramphenicol, and concerns regarding side effects.

Results: Chloramphenicol is used in 83.3% of hospitals, mostly for the treatment of aspiration pneumonia. While 22.2% of infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol should be avoided because of dangerous side effects, 88.9% believe there is a place for chloramphenicol in the treatment of patients in this era of increasing antibiotic resistance. Chloramphenicol susceptibility is routinely assessed in 44.4% of hospitals, with high susceptibility rates found among gram-positive, gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria.

Conclusions: In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance, many Israeli infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol has a role in the treatment of respiratory tract and other infections in hospitalized patients.

March 2014
Sharon Orbach-Zinger, Alexander Ioscovich, Amir Aviram, Sergei Babytz, Shai Fein, Alon Reuveni and Leonid A. Eidelman
 Background: Postoperative pain is a common problem after cesarean deliveries.

Objectives: To characterize common obstetric anesthesia practices after cesarean deliveries in Israel in order to standardize postoperative pain relief protocols.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed during an interview with every obstetric anesthesia unit in all 25 delivery wards in Israel. Data were gathered on intraoperative anesthesia and analgesia protocols as well as postoperative pain relief protocols. A sub-analysis compared units whose director completed a formal obstetric anesthesia training program with those whose directors did not.

Results: Neuraxial morphine was used routinely in 12% of hospitals. No unit providing intrathecal morphine complied with American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines for respiratory monitoring after use of neuraxial opioids. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were used routinely in only half the wards, while patient-controlled analgesia was used infrequently. Postoperative verbal analog scores were not recorded routinely in 71% of units on postoperative day 1. The unit director's training significantly influenced the unit protocols.

Conclusions: Intrathecal morphine, the gold standard of care in cesarean deliveries, is rarely used, mainly due to shortage of staff and lack of formal obstetric anesthesia training. In addition, NSAIDs are also underused. There is a need for more formal training for obstetric anesthesiologists in Israel.

March 2011
M. Waisbourd, M. Goldstein and A. Loewenstein

Background: Intravitreal injections of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs bevacizumab (Avastin®) and ranibizumab (Lucentis®) became the mainstay of treatment for various retinal pathologies, but there is no consensus among ophthalmologists on the precise use of these drugs.

Objectives: To describe the current application of anti-VEGF[1] drugs among retinal specialists in Israel.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent via email to all 62 members of the Israeli Society of Retinal Specialists. The survey included 34 questions on various aspects of the use of anti-VEGF drugs: diagnosis, treatment, follow-up of different retinal pathologies, and the measures taken for ensuring sterile administration of the intravitreal injections.

Results: Fifty members (80%) completed the survey. Most of them (56%) offered both bevacizumab and ranibizumab to their patients for age-related macular degeneration, but 70% were influenced by the patient’s socioeconomic status. Three consecutive monthly injections were usually recommended (58%) for the first 3 months, and treatment was extended as long as subretinal or intraretinal fluids persisted (57%). Over two-thirds (68%) switched the drugs after the 3-monthly series if the first one yielded no improvement in fluid status. The routine practice for intravitreal injection (> 80%) involved the wearing of sterile gloves, using an eyelid speculum, and administering povidone-iodine pretreatment and topical antibiotics after treatment.

Conclusions: Intravitreal VEGF administration varies widely among Israeli retinal specialists. The current survey is intended to assist Israeli ophthalmologists in establishing their own treatment strategy for patients with retinal pathologies.  

[1] VEGF = vascular endothelial growth factor

December 2006
A. Jotkowitz, A. Porath, A. Shotan, M. Mittelman, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, B.S. Lewis, A. Caspi, S. Gottlieb and M. Garty, for the Steering Committee of the Israeli Heart Failure National Survey 2003

Background: Despite significant advances in the therapy of heart failure, many patients still do not receive optimal treatment.

Objectives: To document the standard of care that patients hospitalized with HF[1] in Israel received during a 2 month period.

Methods: The Heart Failure Survey in Israel 2003 was a prospective 2 month survey of patients admitted to all 25 public hospitals in Israel with a diagnosis of HF.

Results: The mean age of the 4102 patients was 73 years and 43% were female. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme/angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers both declined from NYHA class I to IV (68.8% to 50.6% for ACE[2]-inhibitor/ARB[3] and 64.1% to 52.9% for beta blockers, P < 0.001 for comparisons). The percentage of patients by NYHA class taking an ACE-inhibitor or ARB and a beta blocker at hospital discharge also declined from NYHA class I to IV (47.5% to 28.8%, P < 0.002 for comparisons). The strongest predictor of being discharged with an ACE-inhibitor or ARB was the use of these medications at hospital admission. Negative predictors for their usage were age, creatinine, disease severity class, and functional status.

Conclusions: Despite the dissemination of guidelines many patients did not receive optimal care for HF. Reasons for this discrepancy need to be identified and modified.

[1] HF = heart failure

[2] ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme

[3] ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker

January 2006
D. Tanne, U. Goldbourt, S. Koton, E. Grossman, N. Koren-Morag, M. S. Green and N. M. Bornstein

Background: There are no national data on the burden and management of acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel.

Objectives: To delineate the burden, characteristics, management and outcomes of hospitalized patients with acute cerebrovascular disease in Israel, and to examine adherence to current guidelines.

Methods: We prospectively performed a national survey in all 28 hospitals in Israel admitting patients with acute cerebrovascular events (stroke or transient ischemic attacks) during February and March 2004.

Results: During the survey period 2,174 patients were admitted with acute cerebrovascular disease (mean age 71 ± 13 years, 47% women; 89% ischemic stroke or TIA[1], 7% intracerebral hemorrhage and 4% undetermined stroke). Sixty-two percent of patients were admitted to departments of Medicine and a third to Neurology, of which only 7% were admitted to departments with a designated stroke unit. Head computed tomography was performed during hospitalization in 93% of patients. The overall rate of urgent thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke was 0.5%. Among patients with ischemic stroke or TIA, 94% were prescribed an antithrombotic medication at hospital discharge, and among those with atrial fibrillation about half were prescribed warfarin. Carotid duplex was performed in 30% and any vascular imaging study in 36% of patients with ischemic events. The mean length of hospital stay was 12 ± 27 days for ICH[2] and 8 ± 11 days for ischemic stroke. Among patients with ICH, 28% died and 66% died or had severe disability at hospital discharge, and for ischemic stroke the corresponding rates were 7% and 41% respectively. Mortality rates within 3 months were 34% for ICH and 14% for ischemic stroke.

Conclusions: This national survey demonstrates the high burden of acute stroke in Israel and reveals discordance between existing guidelines and current practice. The findings highlight important areas for which reorganization is imperative for patients afflicted with acute stroke.

[1] TIA = transient ischemic attack

[2] ICH = intracerebral hemorrhage

November 2003
J.E. Arbelle, A. Porath, E. Cohen, H. Gilutz and M. Garty, for the Israeli National Survey Group on Acute Myocardial Infarction, 2000

Background: In the emergency department the physician is often confronted with the decision of where to hospitalize a patient presenting with chest pain and a possible acute myocardial infarction – in the cardiac care unit or in the internal medicine ward.

Objective: To characterize the clinical factors involved in the triage disposition of patients hospitalized with AMI[1] in Israel to either CCUs[2] or IMWs[3] and to determine to what extent the perceived probability of ischemia influenced the disposition decision.

Methods: During a 2 month nationwide prospective survey in the 26 CCUs and 82 of the 94 IMWs in Israel, we reviewed the charts of 1,648 patients with a discharge diagnosis of AMI. The probability of ischemia at admission was determined retrospectively by the Acute Coronary Ischemia Time-Insensitive Predictive Instrument. Co-morbidity was coded using the Index of Coexistent Diseases.

Results: The ACI-TIPI[4] score for patients admitted to CCUs or to IMWs was 76.2% and 57.7% respectively (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that young patients with a high probability of ischemia and low co-morbidity or functional impairment were more likely to be hospitalized in CCUs than in IMWs.

Conclusion: In Israel, the factors that strongly influence the initial triage disposition of patients with AMI to CCUs or IMWs are age, perceived probability of ischemia, status of co-morbid conditions and functional impairment.


[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction

[2] CCU = cardiac care unit

[3] IMW = internal medicine ward

[4] ACI-TIPI = Acute Coronary Ischemia Time-Insensitive Predictive Instrument

April 2003
S. Behar, A. Battler, A. Porath, J. Leor, E. Grossman, Y. Hasin, M. Mittelman, Z. Feigenberg, C. Rahima-Maoz, M. Green, A. Caspi, B. Rabinowitz and M. Garty

Background: Little information is available on the clinical practice and implementation of guidelines in treating acute myocardial infarction patients in Israel.

Objective: To assess patient characteristics, hospital course, management, and 30 day clinical outcome of all AMI[1] patients hospitalized in Israel during a 2 month period in 2000.

Method: We conducted a prospective 2 month survey of consecutive AMI patients admitted to 82 of 96 internal medicine departments and all 26 cardiac departments operating in Israel in 2000. Data were collected uniformly by means of a hospital and 30 day follow-up form.

Results: During the survey 1,683 consecutive patients with a discharge diagnosis of AMI were included. Their mean age was 66 years; 73% were male. The electrocardiographic pattern on admission revealed ST elevation, non-ST elevation and an undetermined ECG[2] in 63%, 34% and 4% of patients respectively. Aspirin and heparin were given to 95% of patients. Beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were given to 76% and 65% of patients respectively. Among hospital survivors, 45% received lipid-lowering drugs. Thrombolytic therapy was administered in 28% of patients, coronary angiography was used in 45%, and 7% of patients underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention. The 7 and 30 day mortality rates were 7% and 11% respectively.

Conclusions: This nationwide survey shows that one-third of the AMI patients in Israel are elderly (≥ 75 years). The survey suggests that clinical guidelines for the management of patients with AMI are partially implemented in the community. Data from large surveys representing the "real world" practice are of utmost importance for the evaluation of clinical guidelines, research and educational purposes.

[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction

[2] ECG = electrocardiogram

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