Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

24 Cheshvan 5760 - November 3, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Magen Lecholeh Flies a Patient to the United States

by Betzalel Kahn

The intervention of the chairman of Magen Lecholeh, Rabbi Binyamin Fisher, helped saved the life of a postpartum woman whose life was in danger and had to be flown abroad for an urgent operation. Kupat Cholim Leumit Sick Fund complied with Rabbi Fisher's request that it subsidize the operation as well as the expense of the medical team accompanying her.

A number of weeks ago, 29-year-old C. S. gave birth through Caesarean section. However, a rare complication developed during the administration of the anesthesia. Her windpipe and vocal cords were seriously damaged, making it impossible for her to breath without the aid of respiratory devices. The complication was the result of negligence.

The young woman's family discussed the case with Rabbi Binyomin Fisher. After consultation with the hospital's Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, he concluded that she must to be transferred to another medical center which was better equipped to treat such complex problems. It was decided to transfer her to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

The complex task of transferring her to Ein Kerem was completed, and extensive diagnostic tests were conducted.

It became evident that this was an exceptionally rare condition and that no ear, nose and throat doctor in Israel had ever encountered such a case.

Rabbi Fisher immediately contacted a famous surgeon at Boston University Hospital who had experience in such operations. After consultation with the Hadassah staff, it was decided to transfer the patient to Boston.

Kupat Cholim Leumit, to which the woman belongs, agreed to subsidize the entire operation, since no doctor in Israel could perform this rare operation.

Rabbi Fisher spoke with Professor Midan, a director of Kupat Cholim Leumit, and explained that a medical team had to accompany the woman to the United States. Professor Midan, who agreed that an ordinary medical crew could not accompany her on that complex flight, agreed to also subsidize the cost of the transfer.

The flight was difficult for the patient, who had to be revived a number of times. "Had she traveled with a regular medical team, a tragedy might have occurred," Rabbi Fisher noted.

Directors of the Intensive Care and Anesthetic Units in Hadassah Ein Kerem, Professors Charles Sprung and Yoel Donchin, said after the flight that they would not have allowed the patient to fly abroad had she not been accompanied by this special medical team.

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