The combined team of Magen David Adom and the Shamir Medical Center – Asaf Harofeh in Be’er Ya’akov, which includes paramedics, nurses and doctors – only recently began operating, and has already saved the lives of several patients who suffered cardiac arrest. In this way, Magen David Adom joins other countries such as the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States that already use the ECMO procedure in the field in order to save lives.
Before the integrated team began to operate, patients who went into cardiac arrest and underwent unsuccessful CPR in the field – were taken to the hospital if possible while CPR continued, where they were connected to an ECMO (cardiopulmonary) device in order to stabilize their condition. In recent months, MDA paramedics and nurses and doctors from the Shamir Medical Center have moved in – the doctor has received special training for handling the ECM procedure already in the field, thus significantly shortening the time of connection to the device and saving lives in moments when every minute is critical.
At the end of June, a 45-year-old man collapsed and lost consciousness while working in Bnei Brak. MDA drives mounted on motorcycles, an intensive care vehicle, and also the new Acmo team, which is operated in cooperation with the Shamir Medical Center – Assaf Harofeh, were rushed to the scene. The team of the mobile intensive care unit performed resuscitation operations that included giving electric shocks using a defibrillator and began evacuating the man to the hospital, when on the way the man’s condition began to deteriorate. The team of the MDA Acmo mobile and the Shamir Medical Center – Assaf Harofeh was a member of the mobile that evacuated the patient, and in field conditions the complex connection procedure to the Acmo was performed.
The next day the man woke up in the hospital, without neurological damage: “I remember going to work and then I woke up in the hospital and I didn’t understand what I was doing there. They told me that I was actually already in the next world, and thanks to MDA’s angels who arrived very quickly and in combination with the ambulance that arrived there and together with the team of MDA and the hospital Shamir Assaf Harofeh I was connected to the hospital in the field and my life was saved. I am happy and happy that with God’s help I returned to my family, my dear wife and my three children. It’s just a miracle. I was very excited when I realized that what saved my life was the new mobile that came to me and connected me to the ECM machine and from there to the catheterization room. I hope that this project will expand to the whole country and thus they will be able to save many more lives.”
“The team’s arrival at the scene of the incident is made possible by a special vehicle that is equipped with the latest medical equipment. ” explains MDA Operations Vice President Gil Moskovitz, “These days we are characterizing a unique vehicle that will be used by the team as an ‘operating room on wheels’, with which they can perform even more complex procedures outside the hospital walls. The state-of-the-art German-made Mercedes-Benz Sprinter type vehicle will have a working environment adapted to the needs of an operating room for the medical procedure. The mobile will include full intensive care mobile equipment, a unique electric bed suitable for seriously ill patients, a special place for attendants and even a special medicine refrigerator. The ambulance includes space for a driver, five crew members and a patient.’
The Hakumo Ambulance project is led by MDA Vice President of Medicine Dr. Raphael Strugo, alongside MDA Medical Division Director Rami Miller and his deputy Tomer Kaplan, in collaboration with Dr. Edi Ilgiaev, Director of the General Intensive Care Department at the Shamir Assaf Harofeh Medical Center and Dr. Gal Fahis, Director of the Emergency Medicine Department at the Medical Center.
Dr. Gal Fahis, Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Shamir Assaf Harofeh Medical Center: “It was a great privilege for me to be a partner in leading the revolution in the field of resuscitation in Israel. Although in recent decades changes and updates have been made in this field in Israel and throughout the world, but despite these updates, the rate of survivors of cardiac arrest outside the hospital is still persistent and remains below 5% in Israel.”
Dr. Edi Ilgiaev, director of the general intensive care department at the Shamir Assaf Medical Center, said: “The connection to the ECMO in the field before arriving at the hospital is intended for patients who suffer from cardiac arrest and are resistant to conventional treatments. The Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) is proud to be the first pioneering institution in the Middle East to offer this extraordinary service to its population. This service was made possible only thanks to the efforts and collaborations of MDA, the emergency medicine department, the cardiology unit and general intensive care. Only through the deep cooperation of all involved, this extraordinary service came to fruition. The implementation of this respectable and important service requires significant resources and complex logistical arrangements. In the face of some opposition from some respected professionals, I firmly hold my unwavering faith in the program’s winning results. This project has the potential to become one of the most important at the national level in the field of saving lives in Israel.”
Dr. Raphael Strugo, VP of Medicine at Magen David Adom and who initiated and led the new service: “I am hopeful that in the future we will expand the project to other hospitals, on the way to saving lives in other places nationwide. In the end, we talk about budgets, resources and personnel – but we look at the end of the process at a 45-year-old father who returned to his family, after almost saying goodbye to the world. This is the real power.”
Eli Bin, CEO of MDA: “With the help of technology, professional resources and advanced medical tools that were allocated to the Akemo project in collaboration with Shamir Assaf Harofeh Hospital – we have proven that it is possible to save lives, even in the most difficult and complex resuscitation cases and turn a dangerous medical emergency into a situation that ends with a smile.”