Between running to another surgery and another urgent meeting, the head of Hadassah’s Orthopedic Department found a few moments to tell us about the unusual days, the burden and difficulties, alongside hope. “These are the times when you can see the beautiful people of Israel at their best. The wounded soldiers are also already waiting for the day when they can return to their units.” 


In the veteran trauma department at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, dozens of soldiers are currently hospitalized – some of whom were evacuated by helicopter directly from the field or hospitals in the south, about half of whom are in serious condition.

Prof. Rami Mosheiff, head of the hospital’s orthopedic department, notes that in most cases, these are penetrating injuries, which include fractures and the penetration of shrapnel and bullets. “Some injuries involve nerves and blood vessels, which makes the treatment task more complex,” he tells Mako-Health. “An open fracture usually requires more than one operation, and sometimes there are additional injuries such as chest or abdominal injuries – all of which require cooperation between several specialists, including vascular surgeons and plastic surgeons. Of course, everyone is mobilizing for this these days, including orthopedists who don’t usually deal with trauma surgery who join in to contribute their knowledge.”

Moreover, he notes that the department’s staffing includes 11 doctors who serve in elite units in the reserves, some of whom have already been called up. The rest of the doctors work in the operating room around the clock. “We also receive inquiries from colleagues from abroad who are interested in coming and helping, and it’s heartwarming.”

Despite the unusual situation and the large number of patients flowing into the hospital, the staff is used to seeing such terrible scenes. “Unfortunately, we are very skilled in this. In the past, we treated large numbers of wounded who arrived following the suicide bombings that took place at the time in Jerusalem.” Still, according to the professor, they encounter extremely complex situations every day, such as a soldier who arrived with an open fracture that required urgent surgery while suffering from bleeding in a major blood vessel. “In such a situation, you have to make a quick decision because these are two injuries that require immediate treatment, and they affect each other,” he explains.

Can you tell us about a case that particularly touched you?

“Each of the stories touches our hearts. These young guys are the same age as my children. I know their units very well. One of the most moving stories is that of a soldier wounded at the very beginning of the operation in one of the outposts in the Gaza corridor. He sustained penetrating injuries and had to treat himself while his rescuers were delayed. Luckily for him, his mother is a family doctor, so she guided him over the phone, explaining how to bandage himself and put on a tourniquet. Thus, while bandaging himself, he could also treat other wounded people next to him. In the end, he was evacuated to Soroka Hospital, and from there, he came to us and is now being treated at Hadassah.”


In conclusion, Prof. Mosheiff says with a glimmer of optimism: “It should be noted that in addition to treating the wounded, the hospital continues to treat routine daily cases, but we can receive more and more patients and are preparing for the remainder of the fighting. Fortunately, these are times when we can see the beautiful people of Israel at their best. People come to us who want to donate blood non-stop, the medical staff mobilizes for every matter at unusual hours, and the wounded soldiers are already waiting for the day when they can return to their units.”