At Mayanei Hayeshua, the sanctity of human life has always been a major priority. This ethos has helped the hospital to face the biggest Pikuach Nefesh emergency in living memory, quickly grasping the severity and the dimensions of the coronavirus pandemic. Working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health, Mayanei Hayeshua sprang into action to provide urgently needed medical services for the entire region, while continuing to function as a regular hospital.
The VIP car park at the entrance to the hospital was converted into a 22-station field hospital overnight. By completely separating suspected coronavirus cases, the danger of infecting regular Emergency Room patients and staff was eliminated.
The hospital created a dedicated 18-bed coronavirus department. Patients are first screened and tested in their own separate, isolation rooms. To speed up results, tests are processed in the hospital’s own dedicated testing laboratory. Patients who test negative are sent home. Patients who test positive are then hospitalized in a separate area where they remain under the strictest quarantine conditions until they recover. To meet growing demand, a second dedicated 12-bed department has already been added.
Extraordinary measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the hospital’s front-line medical staff. In order to minimize the possibility of cross-contamination, medical teams work in 12-hour shifts, with zero contact between the incoming shift and the outgoing shift. With all regular childcare facilities closed, the hospital opened its own kindergarten for the children of essential staff, allowing parents to be at their posts in the hospital. Extra staff have been drafted into the hospital to serve in critical areas where required.
A pandemic creates an extra layer of distress and anxiety. As a pioneer of tele-medicine in Israel, Mayanei Hayeshua quickly ramped up its tele-psychiatric services, both for patients and for staff. Dedicated hotlines have been established for one-to-one psychiatric consultations, while online media are being used to help groups of staff to cope emotionally with the unprecedented emergency.
In hopeful news, Israeli mainstream media has reported that Mayanei Hayeshua’s in-house medical scientists are making great advances in their search for an antidote to the virus. While a full vaccine remains elusive, stop-gap solutions are being developed at the hospital that are designed to alleviate the severity of the coronavirus outbreak. The hospital has announced that it will make its breakthrough findings freely available to all other hospitals in Israel.
Chaim Fachler, head of Mayanei Hayeshua’s department of overseas development:
“In these unprecedented times, with procurement proving a global challenge, our team is working round the clock to source urgently-needed equipment from suppliers inside and outside Israel. The team acts promptly, reducing all bureaucratic procurement procedures to a minimum. This is ensuring a steady stream of much-needed personal protective equipment – PPE - including masks and gowns, as well as respirators which are in particularly high demand. In a welcome move, the Israel Ministry of Health has pledged to match-support the hospital’s emergency fundraising efforts.”