Kids released from Gaza being closely watched for renourishment issues

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

Prof. Ronit Lubetzky, head of the pediatric department at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital, reports that the nine children and two mothers released from Hamas captivity who arrived last night are in stable medical condition.

The main physical issues the hospital’s team is treating the children for are orthopedic and nutritional. Without naming it directly, Lubetzky refers to Refeeding Syndrome, in which an undernourished person can become critically ill if given too much food and drink too quickly during their recovery.

“We are monitoring very closely what they are taking in. I can share that when one of the girls arrived and we asked her how she was feeling, she said she wanted to eat an empanada. She did have a little bit of an empanada for brunch today, and she said it was pretty good,” Lubetzky says.

“Before Erez and Sahar Calderon arrived, their mother Hadas said she had a feeling her kids would ask for yogurt with granola and grapes. Sure enough, that is what they asked for at 5 a.m.,” she adds.

In addition to ongoing physiological tests and monitoring, the children and families are undergoing psychosocial evaluations. Coordination for the former hostages’ ongoing care with healthcare professionals in the community has begun, and they will be discharged from the hospital when they are ready.

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