Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital copes with sudden casualties

Staff pulls together to care for 67 wounded soldiers from Zikim attack.

September 11, 2007 23:15
1 minute read.
Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital copes with sudden casualties

kassam zikim 2 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital had no warning before the first wounded soldiers were brought by ambulance from the Zikim base a 10-minute drive away at 2 a.m Tuesday, but the staff quickly organized to give them and all who followed the best possible treatment. "We had a drill just two months ago, but with fewer wounded than what we had to cope with Tuesday morning," said deputy hospital director-general Dr. Emil Hai. "But two and a half years ago, we had a large exercise with 100 wounded." Barzilai received 67 wounded soldiers, four of them in serious condition and seven in moderate condition, with the rest suffering light shrapnel wounds or shock. Eight of the wounded were flown by helicopter to other hospitals, either because Barzilai does not have a neurosurgery department or because doctors did not want them to have to wait for treatment. They were rushed to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva and Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem. A few hours after the rockets hit the training camp, more than two dozen soldiers had been discharged, and more with light injuries are expected to be sent home before Rosh Hashana begins on Wednesday evening. The most seriously wounded patient, at Sheba, underwent three head operations within a few hours in an effort to save his life. A soldier who suffered a shrapnel wound to his heart was operated on at Barzilai, and his life was saved. The emergency highlighted Barzilai's need for a new urgent care department, said Hai. "We lack space, and facilities are not all in the same place, so we have to bring resources together in a crisis. Eighty percent of the funds are from donations, and the rest from the government. There have been delays, but we hope the tractors will start working soon."

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