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The first cases of COVID-19 arrived in Israel in March 2020. In Israel, the first known cases were Israeli patients diagnosed with COVID-19 aboard the Diamond Princess which were repatriated.
Shortly later, additional cases were found in increasing numbers constituting the "first wave". The high number of patients put significant strain on Israeli hospitals. The initial wave was later followed by additional surges in the number of patients further straining the system. At the peak, hospitals with a total bed capacity of 800 had 135 covid-19 patients with 21 of them requiring ventilatory support.
Daily and weekly multidisciplinary meetings were held and daily reports were composed. Following each wave, lessons learned and recommendations for improved preparedness were formulated. The following results and conclusion sections summarize some of the main insights and recommendations.
The main challenges in Beilinson hospital during the "first wave" were a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to best utilize the existing supplies, uncertainty regarding infectiveness, best management practices and uncertainty regarding the expected magnitude and duration of the pandemic. In retrospect, the major insights were the need for a flexible and divisible ED to safely care for changing loads of suspected and verified COVID-19 patients as well as COVID-19 negative patients. Increasing the in-hospital stockpile of PPE as well as the regional and national stockpile and creating local production capacities. The importance of the daily multidisciplinary managerial meeting was to improve situational awareness and allow improved decision making. Staff briefing occurred on a daily basis and during times of high uncertainty at the beginning of every shift.
Performing structured and frequent debriefing and analysis to achieve clinical and operational insights is crucial for improved short-term performance as well as improving preparedness for future challenges.
This article reviews recent advances utilizing field-ion microscopy (FIM) to extract atomic-scale three-dimensional images of materials. This capability is not new, as the first atomic-scale reconstructions of features utilizing FIM were demonstrated decades ago. The rise of atom probe tomography, and the application of this latter technique in place of FIM has unfortunately severely limited further FIM development. Currently, the ubiquitous availability of extensive computing power makes it possible to treat and reconstruct FIM data digitally and this development allows the image sequences obtained utilizing FIM to be extremely valuable for many material science and engineering applications. This article demonstrates different applications of these capabilities, focusing on its use in physical metallurgy and semiconductor science and technology.
An automated procedure has been developed for the reconstruction of field ion microscopy (FIM) data that maintains its atomistic nature. FIM characterizes individual atoms on the specimen’s surface, evolving subject to field evaporation, in a series of two-dimensional (2D) images. Its unique spatial resolution enables direct imaging of crystal defects as small as single vacancies. To fully exploit FIM’s potential, automated analysis tools are required. The reconstruction algorithm developed here relies on minimal assumptions and is sensitive to atomic coordinates of all imaged atoms. It tracks the atoms across a sequence of images, allocating each to its respective crystallographic plane. The result is a highly accurate 3D lattice-resolved reconstruction. The procedure is applied to over 2000 tungsten atoms, including ion-implanted planes. The approach is further adapted to analyze carbides in a steel matrix, demonstrating its applicability to a range of materials. A vast amount of information is collected during the experiment that can underpin advanced analyses such as automated detection of “out of sequence” events, subangstrom surface displacements and defects effects on neighboring atoms. These analyses have the potential to reveal new insights into the field evaporation process and contribute to improving accuracy and scope of 3D FIM and atom probe characterization.
Crowd control is essential to the handling of mass-casualty incidents (MCIs).This is the task of the police at the site of the incident. For a hospital, responsibility falls on its security forces, with the police assuming an auxiliary role. Crowd control is difficult, especially when the casualties are due to riots involving clashes between rioters and police. This study uses data regarding the October 2000 riots in Nazareth to draw lessons about the determinants of crowd control on the scene and in hospitals.
Data collected from formal debriefings were processed to identify the specifics of a MCI due to massive riots. The transport of patients to the hospital and the behavior of their families were considered.The actions taken by the Hospital Manager to control crowds on the hospital premises also were analyzed.
During 10 days of riots (01–10 October 2000), 160 casualties, including 10 severely wounded, were evacuated to the Nazareth Italian Hospital. The Nazareth English Hospital received 132 injured patients, including one critically wounded, nine severely wounded, 26 moderately injured, and 96 mildly injured. All victims were evacuated from the scene by private vehicles and were accompanied by numerous family members. This obstructed access to hospitals and hampered the care of the casualties in the emergency department. The hospital staff was unable to perform triage at the emergency department's entrance and to assign the wounded to immediate treatment areas or waiting areas. All of the wounded were taken by their families directly into the “immediate care” location where a great effort was made to prioritize the severely injured. In order to control the events, the hospital's managers enlisted prominent individuals within the crowds to aid with control. At one point, the mayor was enlisted to successfully achieve crowd control.
During riots, city, community, and even makeshift leaders within a crowd can play a pivotal role in helping hospital management control crowds. It may be advisable to train medical teams and hospital management to recognize potential leaders, and gain their cooperation in such an event. To optimize such cooperation, community leaders also should be acquainted with the roles of public health agencies and emergency services systems.
A simplified, four-step approach was used to establish a medical management and response plan to mega-terrorism in Israel. The basic steps of this approach are: (1) analysis of a scenario based on past incidents; (2) description of relevant capabilities of the medical system; (3) analysis of gaps between the scenario and the expected response; and (4) development of anoperational framework.
Analyses of both the scenario and medical abilities led to the recommendation of an evidence-based contingency plan for mega-terrorism. An important lesson learned from the analyses is that a shortage in medical first responders would require the administration of advanced life support (ALS) by paramedics at the scene, along with simultaneous, rapid evacuation of urgent casualties to nearby hospitals by medics practicing basic life support (BLS). Ambulances and helicopters should triage casualties from inner to outer circle hospitals secondarily, preferentially Level-1 trauma centers.
In conclusion, this fourstep approach based on scenario analysis, mapping of medical capabilities, detection of bottlenecks, and establishment of a unique operational framework, can help other medical systems develop a response plan to megaterrorist attacks.
A mass toxicological event (MTE) caused by an act of terrorism or an industrial incident can create large numbers of ambulatory casualties suffering from mild intoxication, acute stress reaction (ASR), and exacerbation of chronic diseases or iatrogenic insult (such as atropine overdose). The logistical and medical management of this population may present a challenge insuch a scenario. The aim of this article is to describe the concept of the Israeli Home Front Command (HFC) of a “Mild Casualties Center” (MCC) for a chemical scenario, and to analyze the results of two large-scale drills that have been used to evaluate this concept.
Two large-scale drills were conducted. One MCC drill was located in a school building and the second MCC drill was located in a basketball stadium. These medical centers were staffed by physicians, nurses, and medics, both military (reservists) and civilian (community, non-hospital teams). Two hundred simulated patients entered the MCC during each of the drills, and drill observers assessed how these patients were managed for two hours.
Of the casualties, 28 were treated in the “medical treatment site”, 10 of which were relocated to a nearby hospital. Only four casualties were treated in the large “mental care site”, planned for a much higher burden of “worried well” patients. Documentation of patient data and medical care was sub-optimal.
A MCC is a logistically suitable solution for the challenge of managing thousands of ambulatory casualties. The knowledge of the medical team must be bolstered, as most are unfamiliar with both nerve gas poisoning and with ASR. Mild casualties centers should not be located within hospitals and must be staffed by non-hospital, medical personnel to achieve the main task of allowing hospital teams to focus on providing medical care to the moderate and severe nerve gas casualties, without the extra burden of caring for thousands of mild casualties.
Large-scale, terrorist attacks can happen in peripheral areas, which are located close to a country's borders and far from its main medical facilities and involve multi-national casualties and responders. The objective of this study was to analyze the terrorist suicide bombings that occurred on 07 October 2004, near the Israeli-Egyptian border, as representative of such a complex scenario.
Data from formal debriefings after the event were processed in order to learn about victim outcomes, resource utilization, critical events, and time course of the emergency response.
A total of 185 injured survivors were repatriated: four were severely wounded, 13 were moderately injured, and 168 were mildly injured. Thirty-eight people died. A forward medical team landed at the border town's airport, which provided reinforcement in the field and in the local hospital. Israeli and Egyptian search and rescue teams collaborated at the destruction site. One-hundred sixty-eight injured patients arrived at the small border hospital that rapidly organized itself for the mass-casualty incident, operating as an evacuation “staging hospital”. Twenty-three casualties secondarily were distributed to two major trauma centers in the south and the center of Israel, respectively, either by ambulance or by helicopter.
Large-scale, terrorist attacks at a peripheral border zone can be handled by international collaboration, reinforcement of medical teams at the site itself and at the peripheral neighboring hospital, rapid rearrangement of an “evacuation hospital”, and efficient transport to trauma centers by ambulances, helicopters, and other aircraft.
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