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Rush Hour Hero: Shaare Zedek Cardiologist saves a life on his way to work!

Cardiologist heading to work at Shaare Zedek saves man with life-threatening clot in his lung.

The man was ignored by passersbys, but a doctor on the way to work at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center stopped and assisted him.
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Jerusalem Post
June 23rd 2024

Dr. Amir Orlev, a senior cardiac catheterization specialist and director of the cardiology department at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center (SZMC), was on the way to work when he noticed a man lying on the side of the road. Nobody else paid any attention to him. He called an ambulance, drove him to the hospital, diagnosed that he was suffering from a massive blood clot in the lung, catheterized him, and saved his life.

“After my wife approached him first and I parked the car, I approached the man who said his name was Chaim. He was in his 50s and lived in a nearby building. I noticed that he fainted and received a head injury from the fall. After a short conversation and an examination, I noticed low oxygen saturation with the help of the device that is on me regularly, and it was clear to me that I needed to go with him to the hospital urgently.”

“I entered the emergency room with him and told the team of his condition, which required a quick investigation. In a short time, emergency room doctors diagnosed that he was suffering from a blood clot in his leg that went to the lungs. After various tests and an echocardiogram, we realized that he needed to be hospitalized in cardiac intensive care and that the large clot in the pulmonary artery should be removed as soon as possible.”

Together with Prof. Danny Dvir, director of interventional cardiology and catheterization rooms, and Prof. Elad Asher, director of the cardiac intensive care unit, aspiration of a very large clot was carried out with the help of a new technology (INRI) that has recently come into use at SZMC.

“To my delight, the procedure was successful, and a very large blood clot was removed. His condition stabilized, and he will soon be released to his home.

“Luckily, I saw him on the sidewalk, but the story could have ended differently if I hadn’t noticed him. I call on the public to keep their eyes open, not hesitate, and approach a person who seems to be suffering from weakness or difficulty, call the emergency medical service, and order an ambulance immediately. It can save lives.”

“I’m a tour guide. I’ve traveled all over the world and seen many hospitals, and I’ve never been treated as well as in Shaare Zedek,” said Chaim. “Luckily, Dr. Orlev saw me and helped me, and from there, accompanied me through the entire process, including the medical procedure itself. It’s funny because we’re neighbors living across the street from each other, and we’ve never met. I thank from the bottom of my heart Dr. Orlev and all the medical staff in the cardiology department for saving my life.”