The first unit to be established as part of the new division is the Stroke Unit, under the management of Dr. Roni Eichel, a neurologist who specializes in intensive care.
The new division will expand the existing neurological service at SZ, run by Prof. Isabelle Korn-Lubetzki, and will include the option to perform emergency cerebral embolectomies.
15,000 Israelis suffer a stroke each year; about 2000 of them reside in the Jerusalem metropolitan. Only few of them receive the right treatment on time, mainly due to delays in arriving at the ER. During a stroke each minute is critical, and the geographical location of the hospital is crucial to the success of the treatment.
"We are at an advanced stage in establishing the Stroke Unit and a Neurological ICU", says Dr. Eichel. "The goal is to provide the stroke patients of Jerusalem with a rapid and extensive expert response. The central location of the hospital, combined with our professionalism and high standards of care, play a vital role in receiving timely treatment".
As opposed to the Olympic games motto - faster, higher, stronger, SZ's new motto for stroke patients is - faster, faster, faster. As Dr. Eichel explains, "in any case of a stroke, each minute of delay in treatment results in the death of over 2 million brain cells. The time window for thrombolysis (pharmaceutical treatment) is 4.5 hours from the first onset of symptoms; with an emergency cerebral embolectomy this window can be extended to 6-8 hours."
At this point in time, all relevant emergency personnel at SZMC are undergoing comprehensive training in an innovative approach to the admittance of stroke patients. Intensive preparations are also underway to open the new Cerebral Embolectomy Unit and a Neurosurgical Department.
Prof. Nathan Bronstein, a pioneer in the treatment of stroke victims in Israel, is expected to take on the management of the entire division, which will include, in addition to emergency treatments of stroke victims, clinical and diagnostic services for patients with neurological and vascular disorders affecting the brain.