Three Lives Saved Following Routine Medical Screening
Every day, dozens of patients come to the Periodic Examinations Institute at Rambam Health Care Campus, to undergo customized screening tests. For three individuals who arrived at the institute on the same day, the routine tests turned out to be a life-saving warning bell. The multidisciplinary Periodic Examinations Institute at Rambam incorporates a number of screening tests for diseases such as cancer and various risk factors, based on the fact that early detection can save lives and may even prevent illness in the first place. Recently, three patients who came to the institute for routine screening were found to have potentially life-threatening conditions; as a result of early detection by a team of experts, the three were treated quickly and successfully. The first was “K”, in his late 50s, who underwent screening tests as part of the supplemental insurance of his health fund. During a routine exertion check, K began to show signs of distress. The institute physician immediately sent K to for further investigation. After consultation with other physicians, he was transferred to Rambam’s cardiology department, where he was hospitalized and underwent cardiac catheterization. Fortunately, K was found to have an illness that did not require invasive intervention, and was released to his home with medication for the newly diagnosed condition. Shortly thereafter, “G”, a man in his mid-40s, was sent by his workplace to the institute for an annual examination. Employed by a hi-tech company, G already had experience with and knew the institute's staff. He started with an assessment of his cardiac function both while resting and under exertion. Here, too, the alert staff noticed a significant arrhythmia and G was quickly transferred to the Green-Wagner Department of Emergency Medicine, where the decision was once again taken to transfer him to the cardiology department. A comprehensive examination was performed, and G was released with a recommendation to undergo an MRI for his heart. Not long thereafter, the institute's staff, which already considered the previous scenarios to be a rare sequence of events, received “D”, a man in his 60s who works in a large Haifa plant; this was the sixth time D had been sent by his workplace to undergo periodic screening tests. The physician who examined him felt an irregular pulse and connected D to an ECG device, which showed that he was experiencing atrial fibrillation. At this point, the institute’s staff accompanied him to the Green-Wagner Department of Emergency Medicine, where a basic examination was conducted and he was treated with anticoagulants. Several days later, D was summoned to the cardiology clinic and given anti-arrhythmic treatment. D recently underwent a brief hospitalization, during which he underwent cardioversion, a procedure used to return an abnormal heartbeat to normal, and was released. Dr. Ophir Avizohar, Director of Rambam’s Periodic Examinations Institute who was involved in all three cases, noted, "These are three different, uncommon cases that occurred in one day of activity. Had they not received appropriate and prompt treatment, their conditions might have developed into life-threatening ones. These three cases highlight one of the Institute's distinct advantages: Our close proximity to the largest department of emergency medicine in Northern Israel, along with the high accessibility of hospital specialists, allows us to provide the most precise medical care and diagnosis for each patient as quickly as possible." In the photo: Rambam’s Green-Wagner Department of Emergency Medicine. In the photo: Dr. Ophir Avizohar, Director of Rambam’s Periodic Examinations Institute. Photos courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus.
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