Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center Director-General Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach speaks at the 7th Annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on April 29th, 2018..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Muhammad is a seven-year-old boy from Jenin. Last Passover, he was run over by a truck. Most local doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but one decided otherwise and brought Muhammad to Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center in Tzrifin near Rishon Lezion, formerly Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.
A team of multidisciplinary physicians oversaw Muhammad’s treatment, which included 10 sessions in the hospital’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy center. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled.
A few weeks after Passover, it was clear Muhammad’s leg was saved.
This was one of several stories told by Shamir’s director-general, Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, at the annual Jerusalem Post
conference in New York City on Sunday. Levtzion-Korach is the first woman to run a state-owned general hospital in Israel.
She described how the hyperbaric oxygen chamber has saved patients’ limbs that were at risk of being amputated. She also said the chamber is now being used for the treatment of stroke and traumatic brain injuries.
“Our research is finding that hyperbaric therapy can even make the brain younger, rejuvenate the brain,” she said. She showed a picture of an aging brain before and after hyperbaric oxygen treatment in which the aging brain was functioning better after treatment
She also told the story of Ron, an officer who was injured in a blast while serving in the IDF.
“Ron was badly injured, including a severe brain injury,” Levtzion-Korach explained. “He could not read. He could not remember anything. He was rehabilitated at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. Then he came to us.”
It took 80 treatments in the hyperbaric chamber, but Ron was rehabilitated.
“It was an amazing thing: At the end of his treatment, he went back to active service,” Levtzion-Korach said.
Shamir’s hyperbaric chamber is considered one of the world’s leading devices of its type, she said, adding that Bill Gates called the center to talk about its work.
Now, she said, the hospital is raising funds to build two additional hyperbaric oxygen chambers.
“We invite you to be our partners in this exciting journey to change the world of medicine,” said Levtzion-Korach. “This is the future of medicine. ‘Ki m’Tzion tetze Torah’ [From Zion shall come forth Torah] is a good phrase to describe what we are doing at Shamir.”