Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

30 Nissan 5764 - April 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Home and Family

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine

I'm back from the USA, and I gave lectures on terrorism to schools in southern California. I spoke with emergency personnel, police, and nurses and physicians in preparation for this lecture.

Suicide bombers sometimes dress up like chareidim to go unrecognized. The usual material for these people is RDX -- a high explosive used by the military for mines and the navy for missiles. It is cheap and easily bought. The fuse is usually located in the hand or on the shoulder. If you see a person holding something and he will not let go it may be a fuse. They may have one shoulder that looks bigger than the other. This may be because the fuse is there and can be set off by a cellular phone nearby. They may do unusual things like smoke or listen to music on Shabbos. They may wear a heavy coat in the summer. They may be wearing rich clothing, as they get a cash advance.

Do not approach such people. Because the shock wave goes out from the chest area, the best thing to do is to lie down quickly and hope the shock wave passes over. The nails and ball bearings they wear are particularly dangerous and can be hard to find. Physicians are told that, despite the overwhelming number of victims, they must look each patient over and over again to not miss anything.

After an attack, Rachmono litzlan, do not approach the area. Your help is not needed and if there is possibly a relative involved you will not get information there. 800 numbers are immediately set up and hospitals are organized. Try not to become hysterical. Also take into account that the roads will be closed and the hospitals will also be secured to keep everything orderly and prevent an event at the hospital itself.

Most of the trauma is penetrating and not blunt. That means that if it happens in an open space like a bus stop there will be a lot of survivors. A bus is treacherous because it is a closed space, and burns and shock injuries are more common. These injuries, if they are not fatal, take a long time to recover from as well as causing psychological damage. Most emergency departments have a psychologist.

Please try to avoid the emergency department at this time. You can expect the operating rooms and orthopedists to be tied up for a long time.

This is what I spoke about. Let's pray we will never need to use this information. Write me in care of the Yated.

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