Kibbutz Dafna worker bitten by viper

Weekly wrap-up of local news around the country.

Boy looking at snake 521 (photo credit: Reuters)
Boy looking at snake 521
(photo credit: Reuters)
A 56-year-old man was brought to the Ziv Medical Center emergency room in Safed on Sunday after being bitten by a viper while picking grapefruits. Majad Abu Salah, who works in the orchard in Kibbutz Dafna, said that while he was picking grapefruits, a colleague working next to him called to him that she thought she had seen a snake on one of the trees and was afraid to pick from it.
“I switched places with her and I started picking the fruit carefully, when suddenly I felt a bite and I immediately spotted the snake,” he said. “I grabbed the snake by the tail, threw it to the ground and killed it. I then called to be taken to the hospital.”
Dr. Hussein Amar, director of the ER at Ziv Medical Center, said snake-bite incidents are highly unusual in January.
“The patient came to us suffering from a bite to a finger on his right hand,” he said. “He was suffering from sharp pain in his hand, dizziness and vomiting. He was treated in the ER and then transferred for supervision to the internal ward.
“It seems as though due to the hot weather the snakes have begun to be active especially early for this time of year,” he added. “It is not a typical period for snake bites, which usually begin later on in the year, around March when the weather warms up. On average, 30 cases of snake bites are treated annually in the Ziv Medical Center’s ER, with the number sometimes reaching 50 casualties.”
Amar also noted that at the beginning of the snake-bite season snakes are more dangerous because they are holding larger amounts of venom, which can have a more serious effect on the nervous system and the body’s muscles, causing the destruction of red blood cells.
“The first symptoms of a snake bite are stabbing pain or burning, bite marks on the skin and swelling. Other symptoms that can appear are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and hypotension. Sometimes there are also late symptoms like necrosis, hemorrhage and wound infection. There may also be clotting, gastrointestinal bleeding, cramps, disorder in the heart and blood vessels, loss of consciousness and kidney failure," the doctor said.
He stressed that in the case of snakebite, the victim must get medical treatment as soon as possible, and first-aid treatment should be provided to the patient before arriving at hospital. “It is important that the patient be as relaxed as possible as an increase in the pulse and blood pressure accelerates the spread of venom in the body,” he warned. He added that it is important to set the injured limb and to wash the bite area with water. He said one must never cut the wound nor suck blood from the bite, bind it or block the arteries, but should make sure the limb moves as little as possible. A bite victim must also not run because running speeds up the flow of the venom in the body. One should also not place ice directly on the wound, or take a painkiller or drink alcohol. Amar added that it is important to try to identify the type of snake as it will help doctors to treat their patients.
Security cameras prevent teenage crime in Caesarea
Security cameras installed by the Caesarea Development Corporation across the town and port have prevented several incidents of teenage crime.
Last week patrol officers received a report of two teenagers who stole money from a restaurant at the Caesarea port. They examined the security pictures and within minutes they identified the youths as they were boarding a shuttle bus. Police officer Moshe Rozentoler contacted the teens’ teacher, who verified with the two that they had perpetrated the theft. The teacher contacted the restaurant owners and returned the stolen money.
Also last week, a group of boys were caught on security cameras trying to dismantle one of the ramps at the skate park. Patrol officers immediately rushed to the scene and reported the incident to the Israel Police. After a conversation with the mother of one of the boys who promised to discipline her son, the officials decided not to file a report and to only make a note of the boys’ names. The complex was not damaged.
In the past couple of months many cases of petty crime have been thwarted due to the cameras, including motorcycle theft and the theft of tourists’ luggage.
Motorcyclist dies from crash injuries in Rehovot
A motorcyclist in his 40s died last weekend after a car collided with him in Rehovot.
Magen David Adom paramedics provided medical treatment at the scene, but were forced to pronounce the man dead.
Fetus found in Beit Shemesh parking lot
A fetus was found by a passerby in a parking lot in the town of Beit Shemesh on Sunday.
Local police arrived on the scene and spotted the fetus, which was still attached to the placenta, and questioned the passerby, who notified authorities.
Forensics experts gathered up the fetus and brought it back to Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine for DNA testing in order to determine the identity of the mother.
WIZO holds special conference on balancing career/family
Ahead of Family Day today, WIZO held a special conference on Sunday to address the tensions between building a family and responsible parenting with advancing in one’s career in Israel. Journalist Oshrat Kotler moderated the discussion, and MK Eitan Cabel, Amit Lang, director-general of the Economy and Trade Ministry and Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, chairwoman of World WIZO, attended the event, which was held at Beit WIZO in Tel Aviv. A panel of parents from all walks of life also spoke about their personal struggles.
Cabel discussed practical solutions to problems facing parents, in particular the shortage of day-care centers in Israel, an issue which he vowed to raise at the Knesset.
25-year-old shot, critically hurt in Kiryat Gat
A 25-year old man was found in a parking lot in Kiryat Gat in critical condition with a gunshot wound to his torso last Saturday evening.
Magen David Adom treated the man at the scene and took him to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
Second-generation ‘MDA baby’ born in Ashdod
Twenty-nine years after a woman gave birth to her daughter in a MDA ambulance on her way to the hospital from her home in Katzrin, that daughter gave birth to her son in an MDA ambulance last weekend. In light of the special circumstances, MDA held a reunion between the paramedics who helped deliver both babies.
Paramedics Shai Alazami and senior medic Itzik Betoni received a call late at night to Shiran Damgani’s home in Ashdod. The soon-to-be-mother told the team she felt the labor was progressing very quickly, and after a quick examination they found that the baby’s head was beginning to protrude and they instructed Alazami to push. A few minutes after the birth, Damgani surprised the ambulance crew by telling them that her son was a second-generation MDA baby, and that she herself was born in an ambulance in the Galilee. “My mother was taken to Poriya Hospital from her home in Katzrin, and in the area of Ein Gev the team had to deliver the baby,” Damgani told the crew.
When they heard the story, the team got to work trying to identify the MDA staff who had brought Damgani into the world 29 years earlier, and to bring them together with Sara Huri, the new grandmother. Huri, 57, remembered that the name of the medic who delivered her baby was Shahaf; the MDA staff immediately knew that she was talking about Aharon Shahaf, who is now a 75-year-old pensioner, who worked for MDA for more than 28 years, delivering more than 160 babies in MDA ambulances.
The staff surprised Damgani by bringing the paramedics who had delivered her nearly 30 years earlier to Kaplan Medical Center, where she was later taken. Huri was also amazed to see that the team had come to visit, saying: “This is the most bizarre story possible, but it turns out it can happen.”
Shahaf was extremely moved by the whole story and told Damgani that he remembered her birth. “You were the size of a teaspoon,” he said. “You are my family. It warms my heart that the child I delivered in an ambulance herself gave birth in an ambulance.”
Dr Rafi Strugo, medical director of MDA, tried to explain the phenomenon of “ambulance babies”: “It may be that in the winter people try to leave the house as little as possible, and postpone it as much as they can. In the case of birth, this means that people are already in the birthing process at home, in comparison with the summer, when people bring themselves to the hospitals.”
He stressed that the safest place to give birth is in the delivery room, and advised people to call the MDA emergency line 101 as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the last minute.