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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

November 1999

Original Articles
Gideon Paret MD, Tamar Ziv MD, Arie Augarten MD, Asher Barzilai MD, Ron Ben-Abraham MD, Amir Vardi MD, Yossi Manisterski MD and Zohar Barzilay MD, FCCM

Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a well-recognized condition resulting in high permeability pulmonary edema associated with a high morbidity.

Objectives: To examine a 10 year experience of predisposing factors, describe the clinical course, and assess predictors of mortality in children with this syndrome.

Methods: The medical records of all admissions to the pediatric intensive care unit over a 10 year period were evaluated to identify children with ARDS1. Patients were considered to have ARDS if they met all of the following criteria: acute onset of diffuse bilateral pulmonary infiltrates of non-cardiac origin and severe hypoxemia defined by <200 partial pressure of oxygen during ³6 cm H2O positive end-expiratory pressure for a minimum of 24 hours. The medical records were reviewed for demographic, clinical, and physiologic information including PaO22 /forced expiratory O2, alveolar–arterial O2 difference, and ventilation index.

Results: We identified 39 children with the adult respiratory distress syndrome. Mean age was 7.4 years (range 50 days to 16 years) and the male:female ratio was 24:15. Predisposing insults included sepsis, pneumonias, malignancy, major trauma, shock, aspiration, near drowning, burns, and envenomation. The mortality rate was 61.5%. Predictors of death included the PaO2/FIO2, ventilation index and A-aDO23 on the second day after diagnosis. Non-survivors had significantly lower PaO2/FIO2 (116±12 vs. 175±8.3, P<0.001), and higher A-aDO2 (368±28.9 vs. 228.0±15.5, P<0.001) and ventilation index (43.3±2.9 vs. 53.1±18.0, P<0.001) than survivors.

Conclusions: Local mortality outcome for ARDS is comparable to those in tertiary referral institutions in the United States and Western Europe. The PaO2/FIO2, A-aDO2 and ventilation index are valuable for predicting outcome in ARDS by the second day of conventional therapy. The development of a local risk profile may allow early application of innovative therapies in this population. 


1ARDS = acute respiratory distress syndrome

2 PaO2 = partial pressure of oxygen

3A-aDO2 = alveolar–arterial O2 difference

Hava Tabenkin MD, Ada Tamir MD, Ami D. Sperber MD, MSPH, Micha Shapira MD and Pesach Shvartzman MD
 Background: Incidence rates for malignant melanoma in Israel are rising steadily, and the kibbutz population is at increased risk for this malignancy.

Objectives: To assess the risk factors for malignant melanoma among kibbutz members compared to matched healthy controls.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study of 168 malignant melanoma patients and 325 healthy controls, matched by age and gender. Data were collected on three categories of risk: demographic, personal (e.g., skin, eye and hair color), and environmental/behavioral (e.g., sun exposure, use of sunscreens).

Results: There were no differences between the groups regarding sociodemographic data. Significantly more patients than controls had fair, vulnerable skin (P<0.001), light eyes (P<0.05), and fair hair (P<0.001). There was no difference in family history of malignant melanoma or other cancers. Patients with malignant melanoma had significantly more additional skin lesions (e.g., keratoses) (P<0.001). More patients than controls recalled having been exposed to the sun for long periods when they were 6–13 years of age. A conditional logistic regression analysis showed that fair hair, fair vulnerable skin, and additional skin lesions were independently associated with malignant melanoma (P<0.01).

Conclusions: The main target population for interventions to reduce the incidence of malignant melanoma among kibbutz members should be individuals with these risk factors. A history of increased exposure to the sun from age 6 to 13 should also be taken into account as an independent risk factor. 

Nehama Linder MD, Lea Sirota MD, Amir Snapir MD, Irit Eisen MD, Nadav Davidovitch MD, Giora Kaplan MSc and Asher Barzilai MD

Background: Although the onset of fever in children often prompts parents to seek immediate treatment, the general level of parental knowledge on pediatric fever and administration of antipyretic medications is unknown. Parents without a basic understanding of treatment principles may give their children incorrect doses of medication. Overdosing may cause drug toxicity, while underdosing may lead to unnecessary, repeated clinic and/or emergency room visits.

Objectives: To assess parental decision-making with regard to treating fever in children, and its effectiveness, and to suggest methods for improving the level of treatment.

Methods: In this cross-sectional self-reported survey, questionnaires were completed by 650 parents who sought medical assistance for a child under the age of 10 years. Parents represented various socioeconomic levels, educational backgrounds and religious affiliations.

Results: Ninety-six percent of parents treated fevers that reached 38.5°C, and 77.6% treated fevers of only 38°C. Acetaminophen was the treatment of choice for 96% and dipyrone for 4%. Parental sources of information for managing and administering antipyretic drugs were medical personnel (40.7%), mother's or grandmother's experience (30%), and the enclosed leaflet or instructions on the bottle (29.3%). Forty-three percent of the parents administered the recommended dosage (10–20 mg/kg), whereas 24.3% used less and 32.7% used more; 11% exceeded a daily dosage of 120 mg/kg. 

Conclusions: A total of 57% of parents treated children with incorrect doses of antipyretic drugs. In 11% of the children treated, the daily dose was at a level that could cause severe toxicity. Parental knowledge of the treatment of fever must be improved.

Ilan Cohen MD, Avraham Nyska PhD, Uri Givon MD, Aharon Chechick MD, Valentin Rzetelny MD and Eitan Bogin PhD

Background: The growth plate increases its activity in response to exercise. Likewise, decreased physical activity exerts a negative effect on bone growth and development, leading to rarefaction of the subepiphyseal bone. Limb immobilization inhibits the growth plate’s activity, indirectly shown by a recorded arrest in longitudinal growth of the long bones. However, there is no direct evidence concerning the growth plate itself.

Objective: To determine whether the growth plate exhibits measurable microstructural changes in response to decreased levels of physical activity.

Methods: Histomorphometric analysis was used to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the changes in the epiphyseal plate in response to single hind limb immobilization in the rat. In 16 of 25 Sprague-Dawley male rats the left hind limb was immobilized for 3 weeks; the remaining 9 rats served as controls. The left proximal tibia of each animal was examined by computerized image analysis.

Results: There was a decrease in epiphyseal height, cell column density and subepiphyseal trabecular area - all indices of growth plate activity. Metaphyseal cortical thickness was also depressed, thereby confirming the efficacy of the immobilization method applied.

Conclusions: Limb immobilization in the rat induces inhibitory histological changes in the epiphyseal growth plate, which are in contrast to the excitatory microscopic changes seen with exercise. These changes can be assessed quantitatively. Their potential for reversibility remains to be determined by future experiments.

Mordechai R Kramer MD, Victor Krivoruk MD PhD, Joseph Lebzelter PhD, Mili Liani BSc and Gershon Fink MD
Background: Hypoxemia is a common complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a major factor in patients’ prognosis and quality of life. The response to exercise has been evaluated by various means but no standardization has been accepted.

Objectives: To suggest a simple outpatient technique for evaluating the response of arterial oxygen saturation to exercise for use as a marker of disease severity.

Patients and methods: Ninety-six patients with various degrees of COPD1 were divided into three groups: mild (forced expiratory volume in 1 sec >65%), moderate (FEV12 between 50 and 65%), and severe (FEV1 <50%). Using continuous oximeter recording we measured oxygen saturation during 15 steps of climbing, and quantified  oxygen desaturation by measuring the “desaturation area”, defined as the area under the curve of oxygen saturation from the beginning of exercise through the lowest desaturarion point and until after recovery to the baseline level of oxygen percent saturation. Desaturation was correlated to spirometry, lung gas volumes, blood gas analysis, and 6 min walking distance.

Results A good correlation was found between severity of COPD and baseline SaO23, lowest SaO2, recovery time, and desaturation area.  A negative correlation was found between desaturation area and FEV1 (r=-0.65), FEV1/forced vital capacity (r=-0.58), residual volume to total lung capacity (r=0.52), and diffusing lung capacity for carbon monoxide (r=-0.52). In stepwise multiple regression analysis only FEV1 correlated significantly to desaturation area.  A good correlation was noted between 6 min walking distance and desaturation area with the 15 steps technique (r=0.56).

Conclusions: In patients with severe COPD, arterial hypoxemia during exercise can be assessed by simple 15 steps oximetry. This method can serve both as a marker for disease severity and to determine the need for oxygen supplementation.


COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in 1 sec

SaO2 = arterial oxygen saturation

Ron Ben-Abraham MD, Michael Stein MD, Gideon Paret MD, Robert Cohen MD, Joshua Shemer MD, Avraham Rivkind MD and Yoram Kluger MD
Background: Since its introduction in Israel, more than 4,000 physicians from various specialties and diverse medical backgrounds have participated in the Advanced Trauma Life Support course.

Objectives: To analyze the factors that influence the success of physicians in the ATLS®1 written tests.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of 4,475 physicians participating in the Israeli ATLS® training program between 1990 and 1996. Several variables in the records of these physicians were related to their success or failure in the final written examination of the course.

Results: Age, the region of medical schooling, and the medical specialty were found to significantly influence the successful completion of the ATLS® course.

Conclusions: Physicians younger than 45 years of age or with a surgical specialty are more likely to graduate the ATLS® course. The success rate could be improved if the program’s text and questionnaires were translated into Hebrew. 

1ATLS® = Advanced Trauma Life Support

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