New alert to diagnose blood clots in pregnant women

Researchers at Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University develop way to diagnose blood problems early on, prevent serious hemorrhages thus saving lives.

Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A way to identify clotting problems early in pregnant women has been developed by researchers at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba. Prof. Ofer Erez, who is responsible for the high-risk pregnancy unit at Soroka, said early diagnosis of these blood problems could prevent serious hemorrhages and thus save lives.
The International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis has published an international measure for hemorrhaging, but it is not suitable for pregnant women, who undergo clotting changes during gestation. The most serious risks are separation of the placenta from the uterus or amniotic fluid embolisms.
Erez and Lena Novack of the epidemiology faculty in BGU’s Health Sciences Faculty led a team that monitored the physiological changes during pregnancy to develop the unique measure. They published their findings in a recent issue of PLoS One.
When a pregnant woman comes to her doctor, her blood count and the functioning of her clotting system are registered.
The Beersheba team used a point system to assess the test results and determine a baseline to diagnose clotting disorders in such women. Eretz said the development is an important but simple tool that can speedily alert doctors about risks of bleeding in late pregnancy.
Cancer patients and their families are naturally so shocked when their disease is diagnosed that they don’t remember much of what the oncologist said. Once they get used to the idea in subsequent consultations, they are usually confused by the medical terminology they must suddenly understand and use.
Now the Israel Cancer Association has produced a very helpful, updated and free “oncological dictionary” so that patients and families can understand “the language of cancer.” It is meant for the more than 200,000 people in the country who are being treated or are recovering from cancer, along with family members.
Produced with a donation from the Roche Pharmaceutical Company, it can be obtained by calling the ICA’s Telemeida number at 1-800-599 995.
The booklet is organized alphabetically and contains 300 terms relating to the disease, treatments, medications and more.
ICA director-general Miri Ziv said that in recent years, cancer patients have become partners with doctors in decision making. “The new resource will help bridge the gap between oncologists and their patients,” she said.
An evacuation drill with a new Swedish device that enables the rescue of a victim from a fire using only one team member instead of four was held recently at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. The hospital’s deputy director-general, Dr. Lion Poles volunteered to try it out during an evacuation exercise.
He lay down on it on the fifth floor, and a staff member evacuated him to the entrance. The unique stretcher enables a single rescuer to take the victim down stairs quickly and safely. It is lightweight and already in use in Sweden and the US.
“I can testify to the fact that the person in the stretcher feels safe, comfortable and – most important – is rescued when a fire breaks out on an upper hospital floor,” said Poles.
Hadassah Medical Organization pediatrics branch director Prof.
Eitan Kerem is receiving a prestigious international prize for his work in the field of cystic fibrosis, including the preparing uniform protocols and guidelines for treating the genetic disease that were accepted around the world.
He has also innovated in treatment of CF patients, both of children and adults and helped families to cope.
He also established Hadassah’s center for treatment of pediatric chronic diseases on the Mount Scopus campus and chairs the local Cystic Fibrosis association.