On hundreds of occasions since August, ambulance crews have alerted the emergency room staff at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem: a victim of a terrorist attack is on the way in.
The clock begins ticking and the Shock and Trauma Unit in the Weinstock Family Department of Emergency Medicine on the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Floor begins to marshal its resources. In minutes, all necessary equipment and supplies are at the ready including units of blood and blood products for transfusion, and a team of doctors, nurses and other staff — who vary according to the nature of the incoming patient’s injuries — are on hand, waiting for the ambulance.
Tragically, this scene has been replayed at Shaare Zedek more than 250 times in recent months, as of this writing. The victims of stabbings, shootings and deliberate vehicle rammings have included men, women and children — soldiers, expectant mothers, sabras and recent olim.
Politics are left outside the Hospital’s doors.
“We have Arab doctors treating Jewish patients, and in the next bed, Jewish doctors treating Arabs, maybe attackers,” explained Dr. Ofer Merin, a cardio-thoracic surgeon who is deputy director-general of Shaare Zedek and executive director of the Trauma Unit. “I never try to match an Arab physician to an Arab patient, or a Jewish physician to a Jewish patient, even though language makes it easier. It would be like saying: ‘OK, you’re an Arab, you treat the terrorist.’ No. If someone is shot and comes in, he is treated the same as anyone else who is shot.”
“There are six beds in the Trauma Unit. In bed number one you might find a lady injured by a terrorist; in bed number two could be a child injured by a terrorist; and more >