When the siren sounded throughout Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, one new mother shared, “my husband and I were here in the intensive care unit with our baby and for a moment, we were so frightened, how could we move our baby? We then realized that the entire Huberfeld Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is in a “safe room”, and as a result only the safety windows needed to be closed.” At the time of this article, the Jerusalem area had been subjected to two air-raid warnings from the onslaught of rocket attacks launched from Gaza, and the hospital staff responded quickly and responsibly in both instances.
Chani from Jerusalem recently gave birth at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the new, Next Generation Building. She could not believe it when the siren sounded. “Nurses walked around the rooms helping women out of their beds and telling everyone, patients and guests, to go to the baby nursery which is a ‘safe room’. One of the nurses was calling the patients’ names, checking hospital bracelets and matching babies with mothers. The staff was very calming and reassuring.
Shaare Zedek Medical Center is well prepared to handle the current violence which is affecting the country at this time. The hospital continues to operate with minimal changes to its daily routine but the emergency response teams have reviewed all relevant protocols and are prepared to respond to any eventuality. The medical departments and public areas are outfitted with quick access to shelters or safe rooms and in fact much of the hospital is built with reinforced protection so that specific activities can continue unabated even under the threat of attack. The entire 2nd floor of Shaare Zedek Medical Center can transform quickly into a fully functional underground medical facility.This floor currently houses the emergency medicine department, pharmacy, surgical operating complex, medical imaging facility, key communications facilities, and other core operations. The area also includes a large, protected facility of approximately 15,000 square feet which can accommodate 150 newly admitted patients and/or patients already admitted to the hospital. Where necessary, patients are moved to these protected areas and staff are very carefully monitoring any changes in the situation together with the local, national and military authorities to ensure that the safety of patients, staff and visitors remains a top priority.