Gaza hospital running low on anesthetic

All but most critical procedures cancelled due to shortage; laughing gas used as substitute.

October 21, 2007 18:13
1 minute read.
hospital generic

Hospital generic 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Gaza's main hospital said Sunday it has run out of anesthetic for surgeries and canceled all but the most critical procedures, due to an Israeli blockade of its borders. The Shifa hospital had been using emergency reserves of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for the past two weeks, and placed an order for fresh supplies, but stocks ran out Sunday morning, hospital spokesman Walid Mahalawi said. Israel has severely restricted the flow of cargo and people through Gaza's crossings since the violent Islamic Hamas took control of the coastal strip in June. Israel has since declared Gaza a "hostile entity" in an attempt to pressure Hamas to stop rocket attacks on Israeli towns and the border crossings. Mahmoud Daher, of the World Health Organization in Gaza said the cause of the nitrous oxide shortage was that Israeli suppliers would not ship fresh gas cylinders without receiving the empties in exchange. Because of repeated attacks by Palestinian militants on the crossings, the Israeli army is hesitant to allow the depleted canisters to approach for fear they might be rigged as bombs. "I suggest that the hospital go to Hamas and asks them to take the threat off the checkpoints," Israeli military spokesman Shomo Dror said Sunday. Mahalawi said 10 emergency operations were performed at Shifa during the day Sunday, down from a daily average of 20 usually carried out there. He did not know how many elective surgeries were canceled. In the absence of the gas, patients had to be sedated using intravenous drugs that pose risks to some and carry a longer recovery time, he said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins placed on Dollar banknotes
December 14, 2018
Saudi Arabia and UAE to launch cross-border cryptocurrency