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עמוד בית
Fri, 30.09.22

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September 2022
Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Roy Nadler MD, Alex Sorkin MD, Ilona Lipkin BEMS, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Jacob Chen MD MHA, and Avi Benov MD MHA

Background: Vehicle-ramming attacks have become a common tactic for terror organizations worldwide. However, the medical implications of vehicle-ramming attacks remain unknown.

Objectives: To investigate the characteristics of vehicle-ramming attack incidents and casualties in order to assist in guiding the policy of medical organizations. 

Methods: In this study we included all vehicle-ramming attacks recorded in the Israel Defense Forces-Trauma Registry between 2015 and 2019. Records were screened using text mining of incident, casualty, and injury descriptions. The selected records were examined manually to ensure that they were vehicle-ramming attacks. Incident and casualty data were retrieved from the trauma registry.

Results: During the years 2015–2019, a total of 36 vehicle-ramming attacks with 113 casualties were documented in the trauma registry. The median number of casualties, urgent casualties, and fatalities per incident was 3 (interquartile range [IQR] 2–5), 1 (IQR 1–2), and 1 (IQR 1–1), respectively. Of the incidents, 15 (42%) had three or more casualties. The most prevelant day of the week was Friday with 9 incidents (25%). Within the day, 21 incidents (58%) occurred between the hours of 12:00 and 18:00. Commonly injured body regions were lower extremities (55%), head (28%), and upper extremities. Ten victims (9%) died before arriving at a hospital.

Conclusions: Vehicle-ramming attacks tend to have multiple casualties, be deadly, occur more often on Fridays and in the afternoon, and result mostly in injuries to the extremities and the head. These findings could guide policymaking to improve medical response to vehicle-ramming attacks.

August 2013
L. Goldberg, J. Dreiher, M. Friger, A. Levin and P. Shvartzman
 Background: The Qassam rocket attacks on southern Israel during the years 2000–2007 created a unique situation of life under a continuous threat. The effect of this unique situation on health services utilization has not been previously evaluated.

Objectives: To evaluate health utilization patterns in two primary care clinics in southern Israel: one under continuous attacks of Qassam rockets as compared with a similar clinic not under a rocket threat.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study in two primary care clinics in southern Israel, with 11,630 persons listed in the two clinics during the entire study period. The primary outcome measures were total annual number of visits per person to the clinic and for specific diagnoses, and the number of drug prescriptions issued, emergency room (ER) visits, hospitalization days, cardiac catheterizations and coronary bypass surgeries.

Results: In both clinics there was an increase over time in the mean annual number of visits per person. During the years of severe attacks there was an increase in visits with a chief complaint of depression and anxiety and an increase in the number of anxiolytic prescriptions in the study clinic compared with the control. During the same period there was a decrease in the number of ER visits in the study clinic compared with the control.

Conclusions: The population under continuous life-threatening events showed more depression and anxiety problems. Under severe bombardment, the residents prefer not to leave home, unless necessary.


May 2013
December 2008
A. Bleich, M. Gelkopf, R. Berger, Z. Solomon

Background: Detrimental effects of military service among the civilian Palestinian population have been reported in soldiers.

Objectives: To examine the frequency and type of stressors encountered by soldiers in close contact with the CPP and its relationship with post-traumatic symptomatology. We also investigated coping methods and the preferred types of professional help.

Methods: Using random digit dialing methodology we conducted a phone survey of veteran soldiers, men (n=167) and women (n=59) in close contact with the CPP; the comparison group comprised male veteran soldiers with no CPP exposure (n=74). We used focus groups to develop context-related measures to assess exposure to violent incidents, coping modes and preferred modes of professional assistance. We included measures of traumatic exposure, post-traumatic stress symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Results: Soldiers who served among the CPP had greater exposure to traumatic events and to civilian-related violent incidents (more than half as victims, and a third as perpetrators); and 17.4% perceived their behavior as degrading civilians. Primary traumatic exposure, perceived health problems and avoidance coping were found to be risk factors for PTS[1] and PTSD[2]. Involvement in incidents that may have degraded Palestinian civilians predicted PTS.
Conclusions: Friction with the CPP in itself does not constitute a risk factor for psychopathology among soldiers. However, contact with this population entails more exposure to traumatic events, which may cause PTS and PTSD. Furthermore, a relative minority of soldiers may be involved in situations that may degrade civilians, which is a risk factor for PTS. To avoid violent and sometimes degrading behaviors, appropriate psycho-educational and behavioral preparation should be provided.|


[1] PTS = post-traumatic stress symptoms

[2] PTSD = post-traumatic stress disorder

November 2008
G. Markel, A. Krivoy, E. Rotman, O. Schein, S. Shrot, T. Brosh-Nissimov, T. Dushnitsky, A. Eisenkraft
The relative accessibility to various chemical agents, including chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial compounds, places a toxicological mass casualty event, including chemical terrorism, among the major threats to homeland security. TMCE[1] represents a medical and logistic challenge with potential hazardous exposure of first-response teams. In addition, TMCE poses substantial psychological and economical impact. We have created a simple response algorithm that provides practical guidelines for participating forces in TMCE. Emphasis is placed on the role of first responders, highlighting the importance of early recognition of the event as a TMCE, informing the command and control centers, and application of appropriate self-protection. The medical identification of the toxidrome is of utmost importance as it may dictate radically different approaches and life-saving modalities. Our proposed emergency management of TMCE values the “Scoop & Run” approach orchestrated by an organized evacuation plan rather than on-site decontamination. Finally, continuous preparedness of health systems – exemplified by periodic CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radio-Nuclear) medical training of both first responders and hospital staff, mandatory placement of antidotal auto-injectors in all ambulances and CBRN[2] emergency kits in the emergency departments – would considerably improve the emergency medical response to TMCE.


[1] TMCE = toxicological mass casualty event

[2] CBRN = chemical, biological, radio-nuclear 
July 2008
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
May 2008
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
April 2008
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
February 2008
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, A. Hoffman, O. Schein, T. Brosh-Nissimov, Z. Tashma, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
October 2007
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, A. Hoffman, O. Schein, A. Finkelstien, T. Brosh-Nissimov, Z. Tashma, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
September 2007
I. Makarovsky, G. Markel, A. Hoffman, O. Schein, T.M. Brosh-Nissimov, A. Finkelstien, Z. Tashma, T. Dushnitsky and A. Eisenkraft
January 2007
Z. Kaufman, W-K. Wong, T. Peled-Leviatan, E. Cohen, C. Lavy, G. Aharonowitz, R. Dichtiar, M. Bromberg, O. Havkin, E. Kokia and M.S. Green

Background: Syndromic surveillance systems have been developed for early detection of bioterrorist attacks, but few validation studies exist for these systems and their efficacy has been questioned.

Objectives: To assess the capabilities of a syndromic surveillance system based on community clinics in conjunction with the WSARE[1] algorithm in identifying early signals of a localized unusual influenza outbreak.

Methods: This retrospective study used data on a documented influenza B outbreak in an elementary school in central Israel. The WSARE algorithm for anomalous pattern detection was applied to individual records of daily patient visits to clinics of one of the four health management organizations in the country.

Results: Two successive significant anomalies were detected in the HMO’s[2] data set that could signal the influenza outbreak. If data were available for analysis in real time, the first anomaly could be detected on day 3 of the outbreak, 1 day after the school principal reported the outbreak to the public health authorities.

Conclusions: Early detection is difficult in this type of fast-developing institutionalized outbreak. However, the information derived from WSARE could help define the outbreak in terms of time, place and the population at risk.

[1] WSARE = What’s Strange About Recent Events

[2] HMO = health management organization

September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

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