The Magen David Adom Paramedics had almost finished building the humanitarian medical clinic that MDA had set up at the Erez check point, when they were called to treat the first Palestinian patient from Gaza. A 47 year old Gaza resident, who entered Israel via the Erez check point, to receive treatment for a neurological problem in a Jerusalem hospital, suddenly felt bad and collapsed at the security checking point at the crossing. Luckily enough, when he lost consciousness and stopped breathing, MDA Paramedics and Medics were already on-scene, working vigorously to keep within the short 48 hour time limit, given to MDA, to set up a Humanitarian Medical Clinic for the sick and wounded amongst the civilian population of Gaza. Rami Miller, the MDA National Paramedic Supervisor reports: "the patient was lying on the floor at the crossing point area, unconscious and not breathing. We started Advanced Life Saving procedures including ventilation by opening his airway, helping him to breathe and administering medication therapy. After a few minutes we managed to stabilize his heart beat and bring up his blood pressure to normal levels. Later on the patient was transferred via a Mobile Intensive Care Unit to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, in a serious but stable condition." There is no doubt that the presence of the paramedics on the scene and the immediate medical response saved the life of the patient.
Some hours later the Paramedics were again called, and this time, during the Opening Ceremony of the Humanitarian Medical Clinic, which took place in the presence of the Minister of Health Ya'akov Ben Yizri and the Minister Social Welfare Yitzhak Hertzog, the Director Generals of their offices, and MDA Director General, Eli Bin. An old woman of 80, who was on her way to Israel as part of the unification of families, to be with her son, who is hospitalized in one of the hospitals in Israel, fainted and lost consciousness. The Paramedics who came to treat her, transferred her to one of the rooms in the clinic, and there she underwent a series of tests, including an E.C.G., sugar level tests and a blood test. She was diagnosed suffering from Cardiac Insufficiency. After receiving medical treatment and intravenous fluids, her condition stabilized and she was discharged from the clinic to go on her way.
The Medical Clinic, which was set up on the Israeli side of the Erez check point, was opened today, and will serve the Palestinian population. The clinic is run by Magen David Adom and working side by side with the Paramedics are to be found - volunteer doctors, specialized in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Trauma, Surgery, Orthopedics, Operating Laboratories, X-Ray and a Pharmacy.
After diagnosis, it will be possible for patients to receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals, in accordance with their medical state. For this purpose, MDA ambulances and MICU's have been sent to the clinic.
"The indispensability of the clinic has proved itself even before it opened its doors to the Palestinian public, when a man and a sick woman were treated by MDA Paramedics. The setting up of the clinic within 48 hours was a professional challenge, complex and complicated, and many logistic factors took part in the operation" said MDA Director General, Eli Bin. "From MDA's point of view, every patient -no matter where he lives or what is his religion - is entitled to receive the best and most professional care. Magen David Adom - as the Israeli Red Cross Society - is making every effort to relieve the suffering of the population whether during war, or as a result of natural disasters".
photo credit: Assi Dvilanski, gil lavi, yonatan yogodovski.