Parliamentary lesson on life-saving

The Knesset staff's works committee participated in a life-saving course with the volunteers of United Hatzalah.

A UNITED HATZALAH volunteer holds the new smartphone mobile device that will be issued to all of the organization’s volunteers. (photo credit: COURTESY UNITED HATZALAH)
A UNITED HATZALAH volunteer holds the new smartphone mobile device that will be issued to all of the organization’s volunteers.
MKs sometimes make life-and-death decisions when they pass legislation, but recently, some of them learned basic lifesaving skills. For the first time, the Knesset staff’s works committee – in partnership with the voluntary United Hatzalah organization – taught staffers and legislators basic cardiovascular resuscitation (CPR).
The UH course, called Mishpacha Betucha (Safe Family), is aimed at teaching participants the basic life-saving procedures to use during the first few moments of an emergency before other help can arrive. The course was taught by paramedic Itzik Chachmon, who gave instructions as to how to properly administer CPR, how to treat choking victims and other examples of first-aid procedures before a medic or ambulance team can arrive.
“Our hope is to have at least one person in each household or classroom who knows how to administer basic CPR and life-saving treatment so that we as a nation are better prepared for emergencies when they occur,” said UH president and founder Eli Beer. “Having one or both parents take the course has proven to save lives within a family that has a crisis numerous times.” He thanked the Knesset for hosting the course for its workers to help spread this vital knowhow.
Prestigious International Health Scholarship
Ben-Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health (MSIH) has established a prestigious new Ben-Gurion Global Health Scholarship. It will be given to one outstanding medical student from anywhere in the world each year.
MSIH is a unique medical school that incorporates global health components into all four years of the core MD curriculum. It was one of the first programs worldwide to provide medical training for physicians to work in under-served populations in developing countries, rural areas, inner cities and the Negev area with large numbers of Beduin and immigrants.
The scholarship will cover full tuition for the four years of the MD program, provided the student maintains satisfactory academic performance. Highly qualified applicants with an excellent academic track record and a demonstrated interest in global health will be considered, the university said. Decisions will be based on the applicant’s likely success in building a career at the intersection of medicine and global health.
“The need for medical training that addresses under-served populations has never been more important,” said Marvin Israelow, chairman of the MSIH advisory committee of the American associates in BGU’s national board of directors. “The selection committee looks forward to finding a highly deserving individual who will fulfill the mission of our pioneering program.
Prospective students can submit a completed admissions application by January 8, 2018 to be considered for the Ben-Gurion Scholarship. The winner will be notified by February 16.

Making more healthful decisions, step by step
Nobody wakes up expecting to make unhealthful choices, but the daily grind can compromise our otherwise healthy intentions – fast food instead of a home-cooked meal because we’re exhausted or driving instead of walking to the grocery store because it’s more convenient. But what if life came with little reminders to make healthy choices? To address that question, researchers from San Diego State University looked at whether a simple sign could encourage airport visitors to take the stairs rather than the escalator.
Even small amounts of activity can have important health benefits, particularly for people who sit most of the day, said the study’s first author, Dr. John Bellettiere, who is researching ways to boost physical activity at the population-level to help people sit less and move more.
For 10 non-consecutive days, a team led by the university’s public health researchers Yael Ben Porat, Brent Bishop and Melbourne Hovell posted one of five signs at the bottom of a set of stairs and escalators ascending to a sky bridge into San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 1. The signs read:
“Please reserve the escalator for those who need it.”
“Don’t lose time, lose weight. Use the stairs.”
“Don’t waste time, trim your waistline. Use the stairs.”
“You’ll get more stares if you use the stairs.”
“If you want to feel younger, act younger. Step it up! Use the stairs.”
On alternating days, they posted no signs at all. The researchers counted how many people took the stairs versus the escalator on the sign days and no-sign days. They also interviewed people atop the stairs about their health history and physical activity levels.
When one of the signs was present, about twice as many people took the stairs compared to a no-sign day, the researchers reported recently in the Journal of Primary Prevention.
The prompts appeared to nudge both people who regularly exercised and those who never exercised.
“We saw the effect even when people were carrying luggage, even when they were in a rush,” Bellettiere said. “It’s the first time this kind of effect has been shown at an airport.”
Encouraging even small amounts of exercise is important, Bellettiere added, because of its compounding effect in people’s lives: If they take the stairs early in the day, they may make similar healthy choices later in the day.
Also, when people see others taking the stairs, they are more likely to do so themselves, creating a ripple effect.” These nudges are small environmental changes that can really help boost physical activity in the population.”