Michael Galbard of Maale Adumim. (Hadassah Spokesperson) Hadassah Spokesperson
Michael Galbard of Maale Adumim

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Quick-thinking Israeli doctors saved a 69-year-old man’s life by removing blood clots in a novel way.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

Blood clots in the lungs can be life-threatening if they block the flow of blood, so prompt treatment is vital.

The phenomenon, known as pulmonary embolism, is normally treated with an injection of blood thinners, which prevents clots from growing.

But a team of quick-thinking Israeli doctors saved a 69-year-old man’s life by removing the clots in a different way.

The doctors pumped out the clots, the first time pulmonary embolism was treated this way in Israel.

The story begins on Friday night when 69-year-old Michael Galbard, of Maale Adumim was brought to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center on Friday with severe pulmonary embolism.

“It was not possible to perform a drug-based treatment that would dissolve the clot, due to an injury that preceded this hospitalization and the significant risk of bleeding,” said Dr. David Flanner, director of hospital’s catheterization department.

“Due to the danger to life he was in, we realized that the time was pressing and his condition required immediate intervention,” Dr. Flanner explained. “We decided to use a system for pumping blood clots, which was recently purchased by Hadassah and is one of the most advanced technological tools in the world, to remove the blood clots that threaten his life.”

Time was of the essence.

“We entered the catheterization unit in Hadassah at 11:00 at night, when all the team members arrived quickly from their homes,” said Dr. Flanner. “We all understood that this was a defining moment, no less. This moment of using a new but highly advanced system that can help save the patient’s life in the catheterization room. The entire team immediately left all family occupations and arrived at Hadassah Ein Kerem to perform the operation.”

Dr. Flanner added that Galbard stabilized and “the oxygen saturation in the blood rose right before our eyes and at the same time the other indicators began to improve. During the operation, we took about half a liter of blood from his body, which was cleaned of blood clots, and then it was returned to his body.”

Hadassah CEO Prof. Yoram Weiss praised the team.

“The innovative technologies we put to use at Hadassah prove themselves in all fields of medicine and the various departments. Kudos to the teams that were called in on Shabbat night, straight away to perform the first procedure in Israel, and performed it with great success.”