Hospital chief says ‘can not recall’ medical event on scale of Eritrean clashes

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

File: Ronni Gamzu, director of Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, at a conference in Jerusalem on March 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
File: Ronni Gamzu, director of Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, at a conference in Jerusalem on March 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ichilov Hospital CEO Prof. Ronni Gamzu reports that it is dealing with a mass casualty incident on a scale that has not been seen in decades.

According to Gamzu, 40 injured people arrived at Ichilov, with 10 of them in serious condition. Among the injuries were gunshot, stabbing, and head wounds.

Hundreds of doctors and nurses were called in to treat the incoming patients. Some patients underwent brain surgery and at this time all patients are hospitalized either in intensive care, surgical, or regular wards.

There are some 140 injured in total, 15 of them in serious condition. Thirty of the injured are police officers, none of whom are in serious medical condition. In addition to Ichilov, the injured have been taken to Sheba Medical Center, Wolfson Medical Center, Shamir-Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, and Beilinson Medical Center.

Gamzu says that the event began highly unusually as the injured began arriving on their own at the hospital rather than through Magen David Adom or other rescue services. Without the initial usual communication with rescue services, it took some time for the hospital staff to understand what was going on. It quickly declared a mass casualty event, cleared six operating rooms, and called in extra staff.

“An additional complication to the situation is that we need to not only provide regular social support to the patients and their families, but we also need to keep the conflict out of the hospital. People from both sides of this are arriving here and we need to keep them separate,” he says.

MDA reports it has dealt with 114 of the total injured.

Eight individuals treated by the ambulance are in serious condition, 13 suffer moderate injuries, and 93 have mild injuries.

Among the injured are 30 police officers. Predominantly, these injuries comprise bruises, many resulting from stones and discarded objects.

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