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Highlights of the Year 2014 at Soroka Medical Center

Highlights of the Year 2014 at Soroka Medical Center

Nearly 16,000 births at Saban Maternity Center
32,000 surgical procedures
More than 11,000,000 lab tests
Over 550,000 medical visits to the Outpatient Clinics
More than 220,000 intakes in the Emergency Rooms
300 helicopter landings at Soroka’s helipad
 6,500,000 entered the hospital’s gates
and one “Protective Edge” military campaign

Soroka University Medical Center, a leader in providing exceptionally high quality care, with patients’ needs taking center stage and exemplary education and medical research strides, continued its wide array of activities throughout this year too.

Dr. Ehud Davidson, Director of Soroka Medical Center: “With the well-being of the local residents always in the forefront, this year too we continued to invest in development and construction, expanded new outpatient and hospitalization care and introduced innovative technologies for advanced medical procedures. Medical excellence and devoted service are at the core of our efforts. We aspire to continue to operate special projects that combine quality and service, aimed at raising our patients’ satisfaction. All this could only be accomplished through our most important asset, the more than 4,000 employees who make it possible”.

A partial list of the events, achievements and milestones at Soroka Medical Center during 2014:

New construction, technologies, medical procedures and services:

  • Inauguration of the new departments for cardiothoracic surgery and general intensive care — both “Centers of Excellence” at Soroka, meeting international standards, with state-of-the-art medical equipment. Construction of the departments was made possible by the generous donation of the late Sammy Ofer.
  • The new wing for the Fertility and In-Vitro Fertility Unit was inaugurated in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Division.
  • New advanced PET-CT, CT 256 and ECMO equipment installed.
  • Expanded facilities and staff for the Oral and Maxillofacial service. Additional physicians, nurses and assistants were hired to provide better service to the local residents. New services include care by an orthodontist, high risk oral medicine, pediatric dentistry, and expansion of the operating room, headed by Dr. Navot Givol.
  • Bone marrow transplantation from a donor (allogeneic) was enabled by the hiring of a physician specializing in the field and providing the necessary conditions. The first procedure carried out this year was on a young patient suffering from leukemia who received totally matching stem cells from his sister. This marked the beginning of many other successful allogeneic transplants.

Research at Soroka:

  • Dr. Zachi Lazar, Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Soroka Medical Center, will lead an international study in Israel on improving the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injuries.
  • Prof. Ohad Birk, Director of the Soroka Medical Center Genetics Institute, headed a research study that deciphered the gene mutation affecting Jews of Moroccan origin.
  • A study conducted by a team from the Neurology Department showed that in the past three decades there has been a decrease in the rate of strokes among men, but no change among women.
  • Studies conducted at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Division show that closely spaced Cesarean sections are a risk factor for preterm delivery; A decade-long study showed obesity in pregnancy associated with cardiac risk in the long term for mothers; Fertility and IVF treatments are a risk factor for complications in pregnancy.
  • A collaborative study by Soroka Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found that Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) fasting is a risk factor for preterm delivery.
  • Outstanding Research Awards for two studies conducted by Soroka Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University were presented at the European Obstetrics and Gynecology Conference held in Scotland.
  • What’s the connection between a smartphone and the repair of a hip fracture?” An Outstanding Poster Prize was awarded at the Annual Conference for Health Policy to Soroka on its presentation of the development of a follow-up and computerized control system for compliance with a national quality index for femoral fracture repair. A model for evaluating and advancing the continuity of treatment between Soroka and Clalit Health Services Southern District was presented.
  • In light of the escalation in the security situation and operation “Protective Edge”, a new study was conducted by the Psychiatry Department and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Division to examine the implications of anxiety on pregnancy and childbirth.
  • The Yitzhak Rabin National Prize for Quality and Excellence in the Public Sector was awarded to Soroka Medical Center.
  • Prof. Ohad Birk, head of the Soroka Genetics Institute and the Morris Kahn Laboratory of Human Genetics at Ben Gurion University, was awarded the 2014 KKL Blumberg Prize for Excellence in Medical Research.
  • Research Week for the Encouragement and Advancement of Research was held at Soroka Medical Center. Top research studies carried out at Soroka, in collaboration with the Ben-Gurion University Faculty of Health Sciences and Clalit Southern District in the past two years, were presented.

Some of this year’s many medical and human interest stories:

  • An emergency operation at Soroka saved the life of a two year-old girl who had a tear in her heart as the result of an injury from a heavy slab of marble.
  • Very special bone implant surgery to reconstruct the skull of a 27 year-old man was performed by a team of specialists from the Neurosurgery Department at Soroka.

Conferences and Seminars:

  • In the forefront of cancer research — International experts gathered at Soroka Medical Center for its first International Cancer Research Conference on new frontiers in cancer research and therapy that are dramatically changing our understanding of the disease. 
  • The Pediatric Division at Soroka hosted the Ministry of Education’s Southern District management for a pioneering seminar on health and education.
  • A first of its kind seminar was held at Soroka on breast cancer detection in the Bedouin population, in cooperation with Ajeec — Negev Institute (The Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development). The seminar showcased the early-detection breast cancer awareness kit in Arabic, culturally-appropriate for use in the Bedouin community health-care clinics.
  • A national seminar on nursing care in the Soroka Surgery Division convened at Soroka, with the participation of nurses from all over Israel and students from the Recanati School of Community Health Professions.
  • In the framework of Stroke Awareness Week seminars were held at Soroka for the general public and the medical and nursing staff at Soroka and the Southern District community.
  • A special seminar on “Health and Education”, in cooperation with the Education Ministry, Southern District, and Soroka Medical Center, was held at the hospital. Participating were some 200 educators from Ashdod to Eilat.
  • A seminar on Developmental Disorders among Children in the Negev was held at Soroka. Papers and research on the subject were presented.

Serving the residents of the Negev:

  • A first in Israel, the pro-Soroka lobby was established in the Knesset to strengthen Soroka Medical Center and raise public awareness to its needs, specifically, construction of a new protected preemie ward, a rehabilitation department, and a comprehensive center for cancer treatment and research.
  • The “Refuanim LaNegev” — “For A Promising Future — Choose Soroka” program, in cooperation with The Jewish Agency for Israel, Mifal HaPayis national lottery, Or Movement, Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, was conducted for a second year at Soroka Medical Center to reduce the shortage of doctors in the Negev in the coming years.
  • At the annual conference of the Ministry of Health to Advance the Patient’s Experience, Soroka Medical Center was selected as one of three outstanding hospitals and received the highest number of points.
  • A bouquet of flowers are sent as a surprise to the home of the “employee-of-the-week”, in recognition of excellence in providing service.
  • Lectures, explanatory material and activities, and medical tests were offered to the general public to mark diverse “Awareness Days”, including: Glaucoma, Cardiac Insufficiency, Skin Cancer, Breastfeeding Week, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, and more.
  • More than three million shekel were pledged at the Gala Fundraising Event of the Friends of Soroka held at Narnia Convention Center in Beersheva. The donations are earmarked for the construction of a new bombproof preemie ward.
  • The Cardiothoracic Surgery Department and the Genetics Institute at Soroka Medical Center were named “Centers of Excellence for 2014″ at the Clalit Health Services national ceremony.
  • From the moment you have a stroke, time is running out”. Soroka Medical Center initiated a campaign to advance awareness of stroke symptoms and encourage getting to the Emergency Room by ambulance as soon as possible to begin medical treatment. The campaign was prepared as a courtesy of the Reuveni-Pridan public relations firm and included televised service messages, a jingle aired on the radio, notices in the printed press and an internet campaign featuring banners.
  • Boom, You Don’t Scare Me”; “Helter-Skelter in the Shelter”; “Making Friends With Fear” — these and more are featured on the new recording of songs and relaxation techniques,“In Song and Calm”, prepared by the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Trauma Recovery Center for Children and Adolescents at Soroka.
  • The Sustainable Negev Association and Ben-Gurion University awarded the Negev Commendation for Environmental Quality in the Negev to Soroka Medical Center.

Protective Edge at Soroka

During Operation Protective Edge 1263 injured were treated at Soroka: 777soldiers and 486 civilians.
Lifesaving teams staffed the Soroka Trauma Unit, the Operating Rooms and the ICUs, saving the lives of 53 critically wounded and 40 moderately injured.
Soroka’s helipad accommodated 60 helicopter landings evacuating the wounded from the Gaza Strip.
140 surgical procedures were performed on the combat wounded.
Hospital wards, including the preemie and neonatal wards, were moved at the beginning of the tension to protected areas.
In-house day camps were opened in bombproof areas for the children of Soroka employees, easing tensions to enable composed and proper work by their parents on the staff.
More than 1400 births took place “under fire” in the Saban Maternity Center.
Dozens of distinguished visitors came to the hospital during the war.
Dozens of media personnel from Israel and abroad reported on-site on the activities at Soroka during the fighting.
And all this — Alongside the hospital’s routine activities.

Some moving stories — All part of treating the wounded during Protective Edge Operation at Soroka:

  • Ohad Ben Ishai, a combat soldier in the Egoz Unit, was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center several days after the beginning of the ground operations in Gaza. Ohad was brought by helicopter to the Trauma Unit suffering from grave head injuries. He underwent two complex emergency head operations, one after the other, and for seemingly endless days was in an induced coma and on a ventilator in the general ICU until his condition began to improve.  As his condition significantly improved he regained consciousness, began to breathe on his own and reverted to carrying out instructions and responding to his surroundings, enabling him to be transferred for rehabilitation at Tel Hashomer Hospital.
  • Yehuda Hayisraeli was evacuated from Gaza to Soroka suffering from a severe head injury. He was operated on several times and hospitalized in critical condition in the ICU. His wife Rivka, who did not leave his bedside for a moment, gave birth to their son at the adjacent Saban Maternity Center at Soroka. The emotionally laden Brit, circumcision ceremony, was conducted next to the ICU, in the presence of Yehuda and dozens of guests of the family, including Yehuda’s friends from his army unit.
  • Dan Daniel Fish was evacuated by helicopter to Soroka after being wounded in a blast that killed three of his army buddies. He was evacuated in critical condition and transferred to the Trauma Unit in a state of deep shock with severe injuries to his legs and a mangled right hand. After stabilizing his condition he was operated on and transferred to the general ICU, in an induced coma and on a ventilator. After about 10 days in the ICU his condition improved, he regained consciousness and began to breathe independently, so he could be transferred to the Orthopedics Department. He underwent numerous operations by vascular surgeons, rerouting the blood through his healthy veins, in effect, restoring life to his legs. Afterward, his knees were reconstructed using a temporary fixation. Daniel was transferred to Tel Hashomer Hospital for rehabilitation.
  • Corporal Ran Abutbul, a combat soldier in the 13th battalion of the Golani Brigade, was injured on the first day of the ground operations in Gaza. Corporal Abutbul was in a house on the outskirts of the Strip when a bullet hit the right side of his face. The bullet, exiting by way of his neck severely injuring his eye (orbital cavity), cheek, jaw, ear and nerves, causing brain hemorrhage too.  He was evacuated to Soroka in critical condition and rushed to the operating room to stop the bleeding. His face was reconstructed using special surgical techniques. The complex surgery lasted many hours and was performed by a  multidisciplinary team, including otorhino-laryngologists, oral and maxillofacial specialists, plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and operating theater nurses who succeeded in restoring it. 
  • On July 19, 2014, the third day of the ground incursion, Lieutenant Amos, Operations Officer in Armored Brigade 401 was with his army buddies on the outskirts of Rafiah, tasked to locate tunnels. During the operation a rocket hit his tank. Amos was severely injured by shrapnel to his head, hand and eye. Amos underwent head surgery and was then moved to the general ICU where he was sedated and mechanically ventilated. He later underwent more surgery, being treated by orthopedists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons. Among other procedures, he had complicated surgery to remove a piece of shrapnel from his eyeball as well as surgical intervention to  treat an open fracture in his hand.  After regaining consciousness and weaned from the mechanical ventilation, he was moved to the Surgery Department and after two more weeks in Soroka was transferred for rehabilitation.

And some more figures that made the year 2014 at Soroka Medical Center

  • More than 220,000 visits to the Emergency Room
  • Over 11,000,000 lab tests
  • 32,000 surgical procedures performed
  • 16,000 births
  • More than 280,000 exams at the Imaging Institute
  • More than 550,000 medical visits to the Outpatient Clinics and Institutes
  • About 6,500,000 people entered Soroka Medical Center over the year

The Soroka Medical Center wishes all the residents of the Negev peace, security and good health!

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