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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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August 2021
Ilia Prosso MD, Nugzar Oren MD, Gilad Livshits MD, and Dror Lakstein MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had enormous impact on many aspects of our society, including huge medical, social, and economic challenges.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related movement restrictions on the incidence of hip fractures in different age groups.

Methods: This single center retrospective observational study included all patients over 60 years old admitted to our hospital with the diagnosis of hip fracture during March and April 2020. Exclusion criteria were periprosthetic or pathologic fractures and multitrauma. We collected the same data on all patients with hip fractures admitted during March and April of 2018 and 2019.

Results: Mean patient age increased from 81.7 to 85.0 years. Only two of 49 patients tested positive for COVID-19. The data show a decrease of 38% in fracture load, but a striking decrease of 85% and 59% among sexagenarians and septuagenarian, respectively. There was no decrease among nonagenarians. Early mortality, both at 30 days and 90 days, was twice as common during the pandemic. However, stratification by age group demonstrated that the risks of early mortality were the same as previous years. Mean waiting time for surgery decreased from 27.5 to 18.9 hours. Patient discharge to home over a rehabilitation facility increased from 9% to 17%.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic affected the epidemiology of hip fractures in the elderly. The incidence of fractures and age distribution were significantly different from other years. Discharge destinations were also affected. The management of hip fracture patients was not compromised.

Yaniv Steinfeld MD, Merav Ben Natan RN MBA PhD, Yaniv Yonai MD, and Yaron Berkovich MD

Background: Little is known regarding the impact of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the incidence of hip fractures among older adults

Objectives: To compare the characteristics of patients with a hip fracture following a fall during the COVID-19 pandemic year and during the preceding year.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of older patients who had undergone surgery for hip fracture repair in a major 495-bed hospital located in northern central Israel following a fall. Characteristics of patients who had been hospitalized in 2020 (pandemic year, n=136) and in 2019 (non-pandemic year, n=151) were compared.

Results: During the pandemic year, patients were less likely to have fallen in a nursing facility, to have had muscle or balance problems, and to have had a history of falls and fractures following a fall. Moreover, the average length of stay (LOS) in the hospital was shorter; however, the average time from the injury to hospitalization was longer. Patients were less likely to have acquired a postoperative infection or to have died. During the pandemic year, postoperative infection was only associated with prolonged LOS.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic may have had a positive impact on the behavior of older adults as well as on the management of hip fracture patients. However, healthcare providers should be aware of the possible reluctance to seek care during a pandemic. Moreover, further research on the impact of the change in management during COVID-19 on hip fracture survival is warranted

Nissan Amzallag MD MHA, Shai Factor MD, Ittai Shichman MD, Tomer Ben-Tov MD, and Amal Khoury MD

Background: Surgery for hip fractures within 48 hours of admission is considered standard. During the lockdown period due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, our medical staff was reduced.

Objectives: To compare the demographics, treatment pathways, and outcomes of patients with hip fractures during the COVID-19 epidemic and lockdown with the standard at routine times.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of all patients who were treated surgically for hip fracture in a tertiary center during the COVID-19 lockdown period between 01 March and 01 June 2020 and the equivalent period in 2019. Demographic characteristics, time to surgery, surgery type, hospitalization time, discharge destination, postoperative complications, and 30- and 90-day mortality rates were collected for all patients.

Results: During the COVID-19 period, 105 patients were operated due to hip fractures compared to 136 in the equivalent period with no statistical difference in demographics. The rate of surgeries within 48 hours of admission was significantly higher in the COVID-19 period (92% vs. 76%, respectively; P = 0.0006). Mean hospitalization time was significantly shorter (10 vs. 12 days, P = 0.037) with diversion of patient discharge destinations from institutional to home rehabilitation (P < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between the COVID-19 period and lower 90-day mortality rates (P = 0.034). No statistically significant differences in postoperative complications or 30-day mortality rates were noted.

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 epidemic, despite the limited staff and the lack of therapeutic sequence, there was no impairment in the quality of treatment and a decrease in 90-day mortality was noted.

July 2021
Moshe Y. Flugelman MD, Ruth Margalit MD, Ami Aronheim PhD, Omri Barak PhD, Assaf Marom MD PhD, Katya Dolnikov MD, Eyal Braun MD, Ayelet Raz-Pasteur MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, David Hochstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Rachel Nave PhD, Arieh Riskin MD, Dan Waisman MD, Robert Glueck MD, Michal Mekel MD, Yael Avraham BSc, Uval Bar-Peled BSc, Ronit Kacev MA, Michal Keren BA, Amir Karban MD, and Elon Eisenberg MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced drastic changes in all layers of life. Social distancing and lockdown drove the educational system to uncharted territories at an accelerated pace, leaving educators little time to adjust.

Objectives: To describe changes in teaching during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We described the steps implemented at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine during the initial 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve teaching and the academic ecosystem. 

Results: Several established methodologies, such as the flipped classroom and active learning, demonstrated effectiveness. In addition, we used creative methods to teach clinical medicine during the ban on bedside teaching and modified community engagement activities to meet COVID-19 induced community needs. 

Conclusions: The challenges and the lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to adjust our teaching methods and curriculum using multiple online teaching methods and promoting self-learning. It also provided invaluable insights on our pedagogy and the teaching of medicine in the future with emphasis on students and faculty being part of the changes and adjustments in curriculum and teaching methods. However, personal interactions are essential to medical school education, as are laboratories, group simulations, and bedside teaching

Yair Binyamin MD, Philip Heesen MD, Igor Gruzman MD, Alexander Zlotnik MD PHD, Alexander Ioscovich MD, Ariel Ronen MD, Carolyn F. Weiniger MD, Dmitry Frank MD, Eyal Sheiner MD PHD, and Sharon Orbach-Zinger MD

Background: Our hospital used to perform cesarean delivery under general anesthesia rather than neuraxial anesthesia, mostly because of patient refusal of members of the conservative Bedouin society. According to recommendations implemented by the Israeli Obstetric Anesthesia Society, which were implemented due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, we increased the rate of neuraxial anesthesia among deliveries.

Objectives: To compare the rates of neuraxial anesthesia in our cesarean population before and during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Methods: We included consecutive women undergoing an elective cesarean delivery from two time periods: pre-SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (15 February 2019 to 14 April 2019) and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (15 February 2020 to 15 April 2020). We collected demographic data, details about cesarean delivery, and anesthesia complications.

Results: We included 413 parturients undergoing consecutive elective cesarean delivery identified during the study periods: 205 before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and 208 during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We found a statistically significant difference in neuraxial anesthesia rates between the groups: before the pandemic (92/205, 44.8%) and during (165/208, 79.3%; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: We demonstrated that patient and provider education about neuraxial anesthesia can increase its utilization. The addition of a trained obstetric anesthesiologist to the team may have facilitated this transition

June 2021
Ariel Zilberlicht MD, Dan Abramov MD, Nir Kugelman MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Yossef Elias CPA, and Yoram Abramov MD

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that presents an urgent challenge to global health and economy.

Objectives: To assess the effects of population median age and mean ambient temperature on the COVID-19 global pandemic burden.

Methods: We used databases from open access public domains to record population median age, mean ambient temperature, and the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths on days 14 and 28 from the pandemic outbreak for each country in the world. We then calculated the correlation between these parameters.

Results: The analysis included 202 countries. A univariate analysis showed that population median age significantly correlated with the cumulative number of cases and deaths, while mean ambient temperature showed a significant inverse correlation with the cumulative number of deaths on days 14 and 28 from the epidemic outbreak. After a multivariate logistic regression analysis only population median age retained its statistically significant correlation.

Conclusions: Country population median age significantly correlated with COVID-19 pandemic burden while mean ambient temperature shows a significant inverse correlation only in univariate analysis. Countries with older populations encountered a heavier burden from the COVID-19 pandemic. This information may be valuable for health systems in planning strategies for combating this global health hazard.

May 2021
Mor Aharoni MD, Yiftach Barash MD, Yaniv Zager MD, Roi Anteby MD, Saed Khalilieh MD, Imri Amiel MD, Eyal Klang MD, Yuri Goldes MD, Mordechai Gutman MD FACS, Nir Horesh MD, and Danny Rosin MD FACS

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak had an effect on healthcare.

Objectives: To evaluate the presentation and management of patients with acute appendicitis.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of all patients presenting with acute appendicitis to the emergency department of a large tertiary center during March and April 2020. Clinical features, diagnostic workup, and management were compared.

Results: Seventy-four patients presented with acute appendicitis during the pandemic compared to 60 patients during the same time the year before. There were no significant differences in patient demographics: age (P = 0.65), gender (P = 0.73), smoking status (P = 0.48). During COVID-19 patients were more likely to complain of right lower quadrant pain (100% vs. 78.3%, P < 0.01). Rates of surgical treatment was similar (83.8% vs. 81.7%, P = 1); mean operative time was longer during COVID-19 (63 ± 23 vs. 52 ± 26 minutes, P = 0.03). There were no significant differences in intra-operative findings including the presence of appendiceal perforation (16.3% vs. 14.5%, P = 0.8), abscess (6.1% vs. 9.7%, P = 0.73), or involvement of cecum or terminal ileum (14.28% vs. 19.63%, P = 1). Postoperative treatment with antibiotics was more prevalent during COVID-19 (37.1% vs. 18%, P = 0.04). Length of stay (1.82 ± 2.04 vs. 2.74 ± 4.68, P = 0.2) and readmission rates (6% vs. 11.3%, P =0.51) were similar.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic did not significantly affect the presentation, clinical course, management, and outcomes of patients presenting with acute appendicitis.

April 2021
Adnan Zaina MD, Walid Tarabeih MD, Ali Abid MD, and Sameer Kassem MD

This year Ramadan occurs during the global coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Data has shown that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are prone to severe disease with COVID-19 and with increased mortality. Acute complications such as dehydration, starvation ketosis, ketoacidosis, and the increased risk of coagulopathy and thrombosis should be considered particularly during this pandemic period. Fasting during Ramadan this year and the COVID-19 pandemic is more challenging, not only for patients with T2DM but also for healthcare providers. We present healthcare providers with important aspects to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients with T2DM who intend to fast during Ramadan and other fasting days

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

March 2021
Gassan Moady MD MPH and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy characterized by an acute reversible left ventricular dysfunction with typical apical ballooning, usually with subsequent complete spontaneous recovery. TTS may be triggered by several physical and emotional stressors. The name Covidsubo was recently adopted to describe this emerging entity. TTS during quarantine may be a reasonable outcome of the overwhelming stress and fear of this pandemic. However, according to the current literature, conflicting results have been reported regarding the incidence of this syndrome during the first wave of the pandemic, and further studies are needed. High index of suspicion is needed to identify patients during the next waves of the pandemic, particularly given the need for minimizing imaging modalities and contact with the patients.

Objectives: To describe two cases of TTS triggered by quarantine during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods: Two patients (age 81 years and 70 years) were admitted to our medical center with severe chest pain with normal blood pressure and heart rate.

Results: TTS should always be in the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with chest pain suspected to be from coronary origin. Based on the typical clinical, echocardiographic, and angiographic findings, we assumed TTS.

Conclusions: The only prominent stressor in the two cases in this article was the stress accompanying quarantine.

February 2021
Gal Antman MD, Alon Tiosano MD, and Irit Bahar MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presented a major medical management challenge to ophthalmology departments throughout Israel.

Objectives: To examine the managerial challenges, actions taken, and insights of directors of ophthalmology departments in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We conducted a cross sectional survey of directors of ophthalmology departments during the COVID-19 pandemic while the Israeli population was quarantined.

Results: All 21 directors answered the survey. The majority of the COVID-19 admissions were located in the center of Israel (53%) and Jerusalem (30%). E-communication took a central role in coping with the pandemic with 80% of the directors satisfied with this form of communication; 75% reported a reduction in clinical and surgery volume of at least 25%, and 40% reported reallocations of manpower. Most of the medical staff used gloves, a face shield, disposable robe, and a mask with no uniformity across departments. Cross satisfaction was noted regarding a hospital’s ability to equip the departments. Lack of preparation for post-pandemic era was reported by all directors, but one (95%). Directors sought guidelines and uniformity regarding outpatient referral to the hospital (p = 0.035)

Conclusions: Guidelines via safe digital platforms aid in management decisions and uniformity across departments. Advanced preparation is needed to prevent adverse clinical outcomes and to maintain treatment continuum. Our results can be used to guide and help improve the preparedness of ophthalmology departments during COVID-19 and for future pandemics.

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