(JERUSALEM – TUESDAY, November 18, 2014- 2:30PM) Amidst increasing security tensions in Jerusalem, Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s trauma response teams were again called into action this morning following a terror attack in the nearby Har Nof neighborhood.
The attack, which as of the time of this writing had claimed the lives of four people, was perpetrated in a synagogue during morning prayers and involved the use of axes, knives and guns. In addition to those killed at the scene, approximately eight others were injured including three who were transferred to Shaare Zedek and are being treated at this time for injuries resulting from both stab wounds and gunshots.
In addition to those being treated from the general public, a Shaare Zedek physician, Dr. Yitzchak Heshin was directly involved in the incident and lightly injured. Dr. Heshin, a physician in the hospital’s Oncology Institute, was in the synagogue when the two terrorists burst in and directly approached him. He was able to dive for cover behind a table before fleeing the scene. In an interview with Israel Army Radio, Dr. Heshin said that despite his instincts as a doctor to save lives, he realized that the only action that would save his own would be to get as far from the scene as possible.
He eventually made his way to Shaare Zedek where he was treated for light wounds and described the emotional trauma of the incident which he said he will never be able to forget.
Dr. Ofer Merin, Deputy Director General at Shaare Zedek and Director of Trauma Services was charged with triaging and treating the patients. Asked by reporters if the hospital had raised its responsiveness levels, Dr. Merin acknowledged that in recent weeks the terror threat had necessitated an even higher level of preparedness but that the nature of emergency medicine required that the trauma teams be ready at all times.
Earlier in the week Shaare Zedek treated a victim of a stabbing in central Jerusalem who was moderately injured and is recovering. The hospital continues to treat Yehuda Glick, victim of a shooting attack earlier in the month who was seriously injured and whose condition has improved considerably in recent days and is fully communicating with friends and family.