In complex operation: ECMO patient is transferred to Hadassah

An unvaccinated coronavirus patient in northern Israel needed an ECMO machine - but the hospital didn't have one for him. A Jerusalem hospital stepped in to help.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Transferring the patient to Hadassah
Transferring the patient to Hadassah

On Thursday evening, medical staff from Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem were called to the northern city of Nahariya after a coronavirus patient required an ECMO machine that the hospital could not provide him with.

Bringing an ECMO machine with them, the Hadassah staff arrived in the northern city and began treating the 40-year-old patient.

The 40-year-old patient, a resident of Nahariya, has no pre-existing conditions. Like most of those in critical condition from the delta wave, the patient chose not to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

After his condition significantly deteriorated, the patient needed to be hooked up to an ECMO machine. However, due to the lack of nearby hospitals and the lack of ECMO machines stemming from an increase in critically ill patients, Galilee Medical Center staff called in the Jerusalem hospital, asking their help in safely carrying out the complex transfer.

"The operation required a number of skilled staff members, due to the great distance and the fact that the patient's stability was in danger," explained Meirav Goldstein-Luria, head of the ECMO and heart-lung machine team at Hadassah.

"This is a very young man and his condition was very serious," she added. "It deteriorated quickly and required immediate action. We connected him to the ECMO and we began the long drive to Hadassah in Jerusalem."

Luria worked with Dr. Alexander Lipey-Diament, Head of Cardiological Surgery Unit at Hadassah, and Dr. Assaf Schwartz, a senior doctor in Hadassah's internal medicine ward and coronavirus ICU.

When the staff arrived, the patient was hospitalized in the coronavirus ICU at Hadassah Ein Kerem.

Dr. Lipey-Diament said: "The patient's transfer to Hadassah Hospital required an extremely skilled staff, since the distance between the hospitals is great and [the patient's] medical condition was very serious - something which made the transfer much more difficult. To our joy, the transfer was carried out with great success and the patient is now being treated at the hospital. His condition continues to be critical and the ECMO machine continues to keep him alive."