In the Field with Israelis Prepping for Disaster

(Philadelphia Jewish Exponent) John R. Cohn - I recently returned from Israel where I, along with a dozen other American physicians, witnessed Israelis hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. The program, now in its eighth year, is run by the Disaster Management Division of Israel's Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Israel Defense Forces' Surgeon General and American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel. At the height of the Palestinian intifada, American physicians started going to Israel to learn from colleagues as they coped with terror. Since then, their trauma expertise has gone mainstream, saving military and civilian lives around the world. An Israeli-developed "bandage," for example, stopped Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' bleeding after she was shot early this year. At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, we saw the construction of a three-story underground garage, designed to be a secure healthcare complex if Hizbullah fires some of the 50,000 rockets they have stockpiled in southern Lebanon. During Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon, a Hizbullah missile crashed through the windows of the ophthalmology wing at the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya and exploded. Everywhere, Israeli doctors and nurses are practicing and preparing. The writer is professor of medicine and assistant professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University.

2011-12-02 00:00:00

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