Israeli hospital directors have been expressing their frustration to Israeli media outlets this week that Israelis “who choose to play Russian roulette with their lives by not vaccinating are stealing the resources of those who vaccinated.”
An example of the issues arising in the wake of those who choose not to vaccinate is the death of a 53-year-old Israeli man last week, who died due to a lack of ECMO machines. The man, who was not a COVID patient, suffered a heart attack and required an ECMO machine to save his life but no machines were available.
Another incident that occurred last week highlighted this moral dilemma as precious medical resources were used to carry out a complex transfer of a young unvaccinated ECMO patient from northern Israel to Jerusalem.
A 40-year-old resident of Naharyia who had no preexisting conditions contracted COVID and was hospitalized in Galilee Medical Center. Unfortunately, his condition continued to deteriorate and he required an ECMO machine that the hospital could not provide for him.
The hospital staff turned to Hadassah Medical Center at Ein Kerem in Jerusalem who agreed to help. Hadassah medical staff traveled to Nahariya in northern Israel to attach the patient to an ECMO machine and carry out the complex transfer to Jerusalem.
“The operation required a number of skilled staff members due to the long distance and the fact that the patient was unstable,” explained Meirav Goldstein-Luria, head of the ECMO and heart-lung machine team at Hadassah.
The transfer was carried out successfully and the patient is now being treated in the ICU COVID unit at Hadassah.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)