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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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June 2014
Nadav Michaan MD, Yaron Gil MD, Sagi Amzalag MD, Ido Laskov MD, Joseph Lessing MD and Ariel Many MD

Background: A growing number of Eritrean and Sudanese refugees seek medical assistance in the labor and delivery ward of our facility. Providing treatment to this unique population is challenging since communication is limited and pregnancy follow-up is usually absent.

Objectives: To compare the perinatal outcome of refugees and Israeli parturients.

Methods: The medical and financial records of all refugees delivered between May 2010 and April 2011 were reviewed. Perinatal outcome was compared to that of native Israeli controls.

Results: During this period 254 refugees were delivered (2.3% of deliveries). Refugees were significantly younger and leaner. They had significantly more premature deliveries under 37 weeks (23 vs. 10, P = 0.029) and under 34 weeks gestation (9 vs. 2, P = 0.036) with more admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit (15 vs. 5, P = 0.038). Overall cesarean section rate was similar but refugees required significantly more urgent surgeries (97% vs. 53%, P = 0.0001). Refugees had significantly more cases of meconium and episiotomies but fewer cases of epidural analgesia. There were 2 intrauterine fetal deaths among refugees, compared to 13 of 11,239 deliveries during this time period (P = 0.036), as well as 7 pregnancy terminations following sexual assault during their escape. Sixty-eight percent of refugees had medical fees outstanding with a total debt of 2,656,000 shekels (US$ 767,250).

Conclusions: The phenomenon of African refugees giving birth in our center is of unprecedented magnitude and bears significant medical and ethical implications. Refugees proved susceptible to adverse perinatal outcomes compared to their Israeli counterparts. Setting a pregnancy follow-up plan could, in the long run, prevent adverse outcomes and reduce costs involved in treating this population.

May 2014
Miriam E. Pepys Vered MB BS and Mark B. Pepys MD PhD FRCP FRCPath FRS FMedSci
January 2013
V. Nir, E. Nadir, M. Mekonen and M. Feldman
 Background: Ethnic differences in the incidence of spitting up have not been reported. The nursing team at our well-baby nursery observed that newborn infants of Ethiopian origin appeared to spit up more than the others.

Objective: To determine whether there are such ethnic differences and what, if anything, is their clinical relevance.

Methods: Of the 3663 enrolled infants born at the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center during the 12 month study period, 55 were of Ethiopian origin and their medical records were retrospectively surveyed. The retrieved data were compared with those of 167 randomly selected non-Ethiopian newborns (controls). Exclusion criteria were preterm delivery, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, and congenital birth defects.

Results: Newborn infants of Ethiopian origin spit up 57% more than control infants. The difference in the number of spit ups was more obvious when only the infants who spit up were compared (2.3 ± 1.7 Ethiopian newborns vs. 1.5 ± 0.9 controls, P = 0.002), although the percentage of infants who spit up was the same in the two groups. There was no difference in weight gain, days of hospitalization, bilirubin levels or nutrition type between the groups.

Conclusions: Infants of Ethiopian origin spit up more than the control newborn infants of non-Ethiopian origin, while other clinical parameters were similar. In the absence of other pathological signs, spitting up is a non-relevant clinical condition.



June 2012
R. Haimov-Kochman, R. Har-Nir, E. Ein-Mor, V. Ben-Shoshan, C. Greenfield, I. Eldar, Y. Bdolah and A. Hurwitz

Background: Studies suggest that global semen quality is declining, but the debate remains open owing to geographic variation.

Objectives: To evaluate temporal trends of sperm parameters – namely concentration, motility and total motile sperm count – in sperm donated during the period 1995–2009.

Methods: In a retrospective longitudinal cohort study we analyzed the sperm count and motility of 2182 semen samples provided on a weekly basis by 58 young, healthy, fertile, university-educated, paid donors.

Results: Despite the lowering of criteria for sperm parameters satisfactory for donation that were implemented in 2004, 38% of applicants for sperm donation are now rejected based on semen quality as compared to a third of applicants 10–15 years ago (P < 0.001). If the old strict criteria were in place 88% of candidates would be rejected today (P < 0.0001). Over the study period, the average sperm parameters dropped from a concentration of 106 ± 25 million spermatozoa/ml with 79% ± 4.3% motility to 68 ± 14 million/ml with 66% ± 4.5% motile sperm (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001, respectively). The total motile sperm count per ejaculate also decreased, from 66.4 ± 18.2 million to 48.7 ± 12 million (P < 0.005). When the previous criteria were implemented for the analysis of the latest group of sperm donors, only 18% of donors had an acceptable sperm quality, with an average concentration of 87 ± 12 million spermatozoa/ml, 73% ± 2.6% motile sperm and total motile sperm count of 53.1 ± 3.8 million per ejaculate – still significantly lower than 15 years ago (P = 0.01, P = 0.003, P = 0.058 respectively).

Conclusions: The rapid deterioration of sperm quality among fertile semen donors is alarming and may lead to cessation of sperm donation programs.

January 2012
Nirit Segal, MD, Ben-Zion Garty, MD, Vered Hoffer, MD and Yael Levy, MD.

Background: Patients with allergy as well as their parents frequently fail to use the self-administered epinephrine injection (EpiPen®) properly in cases of allergic emergencies.

Objectives: To determine the benefit of an instruction session with follow-up instruction.

Methods: We evaluated 141 patients aged 1.9–23.4 years (median 5.8 years, 83% with food allergy) or their parents (for those aged < 12 years) who were trained in the use of the EpiPen during the first diagnostic visit to the allergy clinic during 2006–2009. At the next follow-up visit, the patients or their parents were asked to list the indications for epinephrine administration and to demonstrate the five steps involved in using the EpiPen. Each step was scored on a scale of 0–2.

Results: Fourteen participants (9.9%) had used self-injectable epinephrine in the past. Only 65 (46%) brought the device with them to the follow-up visit. The mean total score for the whole sample was 4.03 ± 3. Fifty-three participants (38%) failed to remove the cap before trying to apply the device. Only 8 (5.6%) had a maximum score. The patients and their parents were reinstructed in the use of the device: 41 participants were reexamined at a subsequent follow-up visit after 1.02 ± 0.56 years their mean score improved from 4.71 ± 3.04 to 6.73 ± 3.18 (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Patients with severe allergic reactions, as well as their parents, are not sufficiently skilled in the use of the EpiPen after only one instruction session with a specialist. Repeated instruction may improve the results and we therefore recommend that the instructions be repeated at every follow-up visit.

December 2010
A. Blatt, S. Minha, G. Moravsky, Z. Vered and R. Krakover

Background: Appropriate antibiotic use is of both clinical and economic significance to any health system and should be given adequate attention. Prior to this study, no in-depth information was available on antibiotic use patterns in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Objectives: To describe the use and misuse of antibiotics and their associated costs in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Methods: We analyzed the charts of 657 discharged patients and 45 admitted patients who received antibiotics in Hadassah Medical Center’s emergency department during a 6 week period (29 April – 11 June 2007). A prescription was considered appropriate or inappropriate if the choice of antibiotic, dose and duration by the prescribing physician after diagnosis was considered suitable or wrong by the infectious diseases consultant evaluating the prescriptions according to Kunin’s criteria.

Results: The overall prescribing rate of antibiotics was 14.5% (702/4830) of which 42% were broad- spectrum antibiotics. The evaluated antibiotic prescriptions numbered 1105 (96 prescriptions containing 2 antibiotics, 2 prescriptions containing 3 antibiotics), and 54% of them were considered appropriate. The total inappropriate cost was 3583 NIS[1] (1109 USD PPP[2]) out of the total antibiotic costs of 27,300 NIS (8452 USD PPP). The annual total antibiotic cost was 237,510 NIS (73,532 USD PPP) and the annual total inappropriate cost was 31,172 NIS (9648 USD PPP). The mean costs of inappropriate prescriptions were highest for respiratory (112 NIS, 35 USD PPP) and urinary tract infection (93 NIS, 29 USD PPP). There were more cases when the optimal cost was lower than the actual cost (N=171) than when optimal cost was higher than the actual cost (N=9). In the first case, the total inappropriate costs were 3805 NIS (1,178 USD PPP), and in the second case, -222 NIS (68.7 USD PPP).

Conclusions: The use of antibiotics in emergency departments should be monitored, especially in severely ill patients who require broad-spectrum antibiotics and for antibiotics otherwise restricted in the hospital wards. Our findings indicate that 12% of the total antibiotic costs could have been avoided if all prescriptions were optimal.

[1] NIS = New Israeli Shekel

[2] USD PPP = US dollar purchasing power parity

October 2010
A. Blatt, R. Svirski, G. Morawsky, N. Uriel, O. Neeman, D. Sherman, Z. Vered and R. Krakover

Background: Little is known of the outcome of pregnant patients with previously diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy. These patients are usually firmly advised against continuation of the pregnancy.

Objectives: To examine the usefulness of serial echocardiographic follow-up and plasma N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide levels in the management of pregnant women with preexisting DCM[1].

Methods: We prospectively enrolled pregnant women with DCM either known or diagnosed in the first trimester. Clinical examination and serial echocardiography studies at baseline, 30 weeks gestation, peripartum, and 3 and 18 months postpartum were performed. Blinded NTproBNP[2] levels were obtained at 30 weeks, delivery and 3 months postpartum.

Results: Between June 2005 and October 2006 we enrolled seven women who fulfilled the study criteria. Delivery and postpartum were complicated in 3 patients (42%): 2 with acute heart failure, which resolved conservatively, and 1 with major pulmonary embolism. The left ventricular ejection fraction was stable throughout the pregnancy (35% ± 2.8 at baseline, 33% ± 2.9 at 30 weeks) and postpartum (35% ± 2.8 at 1 day, 34% ± 3.1 at 90 days). Similar stable behavior was observed regarding left ventricular dimensions: LV[3] end-systolic diameters 43.3 ± 2.7 mm and LV end-diastolic diameters 57.3 ± 3.3 mm at baseline compared with 44.1 ± 3.1 mm and 58.7 ± 3.1 mm postpartum, respectively. The NT-ProBNP levels rose significantly peripartum in all three patients with complications.

Conclusions: Serial NT-proBNP levels, as compared to echocardiography, may be a better clinical tool in monitoring and management of pregnant women with preexisting DCM. An early rise in NT-ProBNP level appears to predict the occurrence of adverse events.

[1] DCM = dilated cardiomyopathy

[2] NTproBNP = N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide

[3] LV = left ventricular

A. Shlomai, A. Nutman, T. Kotlovsky, V. Schechner, Y. Carmeli and H. Guzner-Gur

Background: A pandemic (H1N1) influenza A virus was identified in 2009.

Objectives: To investigate predictors for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection among hospitalized patients with a flu-like illness and to identify parameters suggesting a severe clinical course.

Methods: We analyzed a cohort of all patients hospitalized during a 2 month period with a flu-like syndrome who were tested for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 infection. Demographic, clinical and laboratory, along with outcome parameters, were recorded and compared between pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus-positive and negative hospitalized patients.

Results: Of the 179 examined hospitalized patients suspected of having pandemic (H1N1) 2009 infection 65 (36%) were found positive. These patients tended to be younger and had significantly fewer comorbidities. In addition, they had a significantly higher frequency of fever (94%), cough (86%) and myalgia (29%). Furthermore, age < 65 years and cough were independent predictors for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus positivity in a multivariate regression analysis. Notably, 14 of the 65 positive patients (21.5%) had acute respiratory insufficiency requiring treatment in the intensive care unit. These patients were neither older nor previously sicker than patients with non-severe disease, but were distinguished by augmented inflammatory markers, significant lymphopenia associated with disease severity, and overall mortality of 21.4%.

Conclusions: Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus-positive hospitalized patients tend to be younger and have fewer comorbidities as compared to compatible negative patients. A significant number of relatively young and previously healthy positive patients might develop severe disease associated with a robust inflammatory reaction and significant lymphopenia.

September 2010
G. Twig, A. Lahad, I. Kochba, V. Ezra, D. Mandel, A. Shina, Y. Kreiss and E. Zimlichman

Background: A survey conducted among Israel Defense Force primary care physicians in 2001 revealed that they consider patients' needs more than they do organizational needs and that the education PCPs[1] currently receive is inadequate. In 2003 the medical corps initiated a multi-format continuous medical education program aimed at improving skills in primary care medicine.

Objectives: To measure and analyze the effect of the tailored-made CME[2] program on PCPs’ self-perception 3 years after its implementation and correlate it to clinical performance.

Methods: In 2006 a questionnaire was delivered to a representative sample of PCPs in the IDF[3]. The questionnaire included items on demographic and professional background, statements on self-perception issues, and ranking of roles. We compared the follow-up survey (2006) to the results of the original study (2001) and correlated the survey results with clinical performance as measured through objective indicators.

Results: In the 2006 follow-up survey PCPs scored higher on questions dealing with their perception of themselves as case managers (3.8 compared to 4.0 on the 2001 survey on a 5 point scale, P = 0.046), perceived quality of care and education (3.5 vs. 3.8, P = 0.06), and on questions dealing with organizational commitment (3.5 vs. 3.8, P=0.01). PCPs received higher scores on clinical indicators in the later study (odds ratio 2.05, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: PCPs in the IDF perceive themselves more as case managers as compared to the 2001 survey. A tailor-made CME program may have contributed to the improvement in skills and quality of care.

[1] PCP = primary care physician

[2] CME = continuous medical education

[3] IDF = Israel Defense Forces

March 2010
D. Kraus, J. Yacobovich, V. Hoffer, O. Scheuerman, H. Tamary and B-Z. Garty
December 2009
February 2009
C. Stein-Zamir, E. Tallen-Gozani, N. Abramson, H. Shoob, R. Yishai, V. Agmon, A. Reisfeld, L. Valinsky and E. Marva

Background: Foodborne Salmonella enterica outbreaks constitute both a threat to public health and an economic burden worldwide.

Objectives: To characterize the pathogen(s) involved and possible source of infection of an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in a banqueting hall in Jerusalem.

Methods: We conducted interviews of guests and employees of the banqueting hall, and analyzed food items, samples from work surfaces and stool cultures.

Results: Of 770 persons participating in three events on 3 consecutive days at a single banqueting hall, 124 were interviewed and 75 reported symptoms. Salmonella enterica, serovar Enteritidis, phage type C-8, was isolated from: 10 stool cultures (eight guests, one symptomatic employee and one asymptomatic employee) and a sample of a mayonnaise-based egg salad. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis[c1]  of the isolates revealed an identical pattern in the outbreak isolates, different from SE C-8 controls. A culture-positive, asymptomatic employee was linked to all three events. After a closure order, allowing for cleaning of the banqueting hall, revision of food preparation procedures and staff instruction on hygiene, the banqueting hall was reopened with no subsequent outbreaks.

Conclusions: It is often difficult to pinpoint the source of infection in S. enterica outbreaks. Using molecular subtyping methods, a link was confirmed between patients, a food handler, (presumably a carrier) and a food item – all showing an identical specific Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Testing asymptomatic as well as symptomatic food handlers in outbreak investigations is imperative. Pre- and post-hiring screening might be considered as preventive measures; hygiene and sanitation education are essential.


December 2008
V. Gazit, D. Tasher, A. Hanukoglu, Z. Landau, Y. Ben-Yehuda, E. Somekh, I. Dalal

Background: Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is dominated by a Th1 response whereas atopic diseases such as asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis are characterized by a Th2 response. Because it is known that Th1 and Th2 cells reciprocally counteract each other, it can be speculated that the prevalence of Th2-mediated diseases is lower in patients with a Th1-mediated disease.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of atopic diseases among children with IDDM[1] and age-matched controls.

Methods: The study group comprised 65 children with IDDM attending the pediatric endocrinology clinic at the Wolfson Medical Center. The control group consisted of 74 non-diabetic children who presented at the emergency room due to an acute illness (burns, abdominal pain, fever, head trauma). Patients were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire on their history of personal and familial atopic and autoimmune diseases. In addition, a total serum immunoglobulin E concentration and the presence of IgE[2] antibodies to a panel of relevant inhalant allergens were analyzed.

Results: Children with IDDM and their first-degree relatives had a significantly higher prevalence of other autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis and celiac as compared to controls. The two groups had a similar prevalence of atopic diseases with respect to history, total serum IgE, or the presence of IgE antibodies to a panel of relevant inhalant allergens.

Conclusions: The prevalence of atopic diseases in IDDM patients was similar to that in the normal population. Our results suggest that the traditional Th1/Th2 theory to explain the complexity of the immune response is oversimplified. 



[1] IDDM = insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

[2] Ig = immunoglobulin

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