A special Zoom session with our esteemed Rabbi and friend Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter who delivered a class titled Servitude and Redemption: The Dialectic of the Seder in Complex Times.
Shaare Zedek Director-General Voices Cautious Optimism Over Virus Statistics
The number of patients is doubling every three days, notes Shaare Zedek’s Ofer Merin, ‘but the number of critically ill patients, especially those dying, is quite low at this time’
Although there is a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus deaths and diagnoses in Israel, the statistics actually give rise to cautious optimism, a hospital director has suggested.
Ofer Merin, Director General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, indicated that if hospitals continue along the current trajectory they could see a lower fatality rate from the virus than in some other countries. “I am not sure that in every country it behaves in the same way,” he said, discussing the virus.
Israel didn’t have a single coronavirus fatality before the weekend but has now seen five (two of them since Merin made his comments Tuesday), and doctors expect to see several more this week. The number of diagnosed has risen sharply to 2,369, of which 37 are in serious condition.
“What we can say in general in Israel, is that the number of patients is doubling every three days, around the same as Europe. But, the number of critically ill patients, especially those dying, is quite low at this time,” Merin said.
He stressed that Israel is at “a very early stage,” and his comments should be taken in this context.
Merin made his observations in a webinar titled “The Corona Wakeup Call: Innovation and Startups,” organized by the Israel-based investment company Jerusalem Venture Partners.
Eran Zehavy, Chief Innovation Coordinator at the Israel Institute of Biological Research, also voiced optimism in the webinar about research that could combat the virus.
“Major goals are to develop a vaccine and a neutralizing antibody that could be more >
It is almost incomprehensible to think that it’s been only a week since we last updated you.
Beyond our hospital having been forced to change in countless ways that we will elaborate upon below, the entire world has been transformed.
Today, recognizing the enormity of our challenge, Shaare Zedek’s principle focus is now firmly on corona preparedness and response and investing for what lies ahead.
As of this morning, we have 21 corona patients hospitalized and we continue to project that the number of serious cases will rise considerably in the days ahead. We have already created a Corona B Unit adjacent to Corona A with an additional 25 beds. A Corona ICU Unit has been prepared with 12 dedicated stations. We also have over 200 staff members in isolation and 3 of our colleagues diagnosed with Covid-19.
The stark reality of what we are facing became ever clearer on Friday evening when Shaare Zedek experienced Israel’s first direct loss of life from this pandemic. Aryeh Even z”l, 88 years old with many background diseases was a Holocaust survivor and a member of our nation’s founding generation. While our staff worked tirelessly to stabilize his condition, pre-existing complications compounded with this relentless virus resulted in this sad outcome.
Below, please find a moving testimony written by a nurse in the Corona Unit.
We also share with you the description from our senior nurse Levi Levin who appeared on television speaking of his interaction with one of the seriously ill patients. “Three times in one-night shift, after observing a patient struggling to remove his breathing apparatus, together with the assistance of my fellow staff members, I donned my full protective gear, received approval from the immunologist and dashed into the treatment more >
“I’m starting to think this virus has a preference for infecting the righteous among us. These patients are angels. God bless them.”
– Nurse Rachel Gemara, COVID-19 Keter Unit
A Shabbat of Inspiration
It is one thing to be inspired by the doctors and nurses at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem who volunteered to leave current assignments to treat patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
It is another to watch people throughout Israel, and soldiers serving in the IDF, step outside their homes to show their gratitude.
And still another to learn how patients themselves are volunteering to help others, who are also COVID-19 positive, but are sicker than they are, all to minimize the risk of exposure of doctors and nurses.
Each moment our brave staff fight this pandemic, we see the best in the people of Israel.
With the creation of the Keter Department, a special ward created to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus, Shaare Zedek has created an isolated unit to treat those hit hardest by this illness. The unit has been outfitted with highly advanced technologies that allow for safe communication between those in the ward and those outside it. There are cameras in each patient’s room that are monitored in a control room. Each patient has a telephone with a screen with which they can talk to doctors and nurses. Exposure is minimized, giving the doctors the ability to help more critical patients more efficiently.
Nurse Rachel Gemara has been keeping a journal of her shifts in the Keter Department. On Thursday she wrote that after admitting a young woman with a cough, fever and difficulty breathing, the same woman explained that she was still available to help patients sicker than herself.“… that patient more >
Benny’s wife was treated at Shaare Zedek Medical Center for six weeks. Below please find the translation of his moving Facebook post where he shared his kind words about their experience at Shaare Zedek.
“To the entire staff of the Internal Medicine Department A in Shaare Zedek Medical Center who are so dear and so loved, may you have a blessing from above. Yesterday, we left Shaare Zedek and we are starting a new way.
Six weeks we were under your dedicated, professional, diligent and compassionate care.Long ago, I stopped counting the days and hours I spent in the ward, next to my wife’s bed, there were many, and we met during those hours, face to face. I saw you working so hard and with dedication.
I saw you going from bed to bed, from patient to patient and giving each and every one everything they need with great professionalism and love.
I saw you treat each patient as if he was your only patient in the entire ward at that time and only the one you were treating.
You approached each [patient] gently, carefully, with compassion, “asking” permission to stab them with a needle and take blood. “Asking” permission and apologizing for needing to stab them again, inserting a new infusion because the previous infusion needed to be replaced or for any other reason, and every time you did it like it was the first time. You tried not to hurt the patient and apologized explaining that you had no choice. I saw the compassion in your eyes with every stab, I often felt your heart “go in” along with the needle into my wife’s vein.
You felt my pain, you rejoiced in my happiness, I could feel the more >
The January Newsletter from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem is now available. Download it here.
Join us Tuesday, February 25th for our VIP Chef Event!
The December Newsletter from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem is now available. Download it here.
A Tradition of Compassion, A Record of Excellence – We’re proud to share with you Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem’s 2020 Annual Report. Download it here.