by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
My son decided to try a physics experiment last night. He accelerated his Ripstick (2 wheel skateboard device) to a good speed, then had it stop (due to impact with a stick) instantly. He hypothesized his body would stop with the Ripstick stopping.
His found his hypothesis in error as his body continued in motion until stopped by friction with the ground. As something had to absorb the energy of the motion, he chose his wrist to protect other more critical parts of the body. And…ouch, off to the hospital we go.
A friend showed me a back road into Jerusalem that happens to pass by Haddasah Hospital, so I head that way as the fastest to get there. This was, thank G-d, my first visit to Hadassah’s emergency room (I’ve been to Shaarei Tzedek in Jerusalem previously.)
First, getting to the emergency room is an exercise in Israeli security versus urgency. The entry gate to the hospital comes with a guard booth. Each car is briefly checked, including ambulances! This isn’t a long wait, the guards are doing their job reasonably quickly. But if that ambulance has a critical case, another 2 minutes?
When you get around to the back of the building there’s another guard post for the driveway up to the emergency room. There you have to explain why you need to drive up (as opposed to walking your sick patient through the parking lot, through the main entrance, across the entry building [more on this later], and over to emergency). Here ambulances are waved through.
At the top of the driveway is a courtyard and entrance to emergency. But there is another guard post there! Another brief check and a warning to take your patient in and get your car out.
So I take my son up, drop him off alone in crying pain with a broken arm, and take my car off to a parking lot a 1/4 mile away. Heading to the main entrance building I find….a shopping mall! The only way in to Hadassah Hospital and the emergency room is through a shopping mall!
So my son’s sitting in an emergency room in screaming pain (and of course they can’t start to treat him till I get there and do paperwork and so forth), and I’m trying to find my way in to the hospital! First floor nothing, oh there’s a sign Hospital, Up. Second floor of the mall, hospital to the left or right? (That’s clear, not.)
Kosher L’Mehadrin! (The latte’, not the bones.)
50% off! Is that 50% medical treatment?
End of season sale! Special discounts for sunburn treatment, broken bones and serious insect bits. Now stocking up for flu season.
And finally, after another security check (metal detector, bag check) – because maybe you snuck in another way and avoided the mall, I was able to get the entrance to emergency.
Hadassah’s emergency room care is equivalent and perhaps better than US care (and I had a top rated US hospital near my home in the US). They actually divide their emergency room into 4 separate ones: regular, ambulatory, trauma, and pediatric. Ambulatory was relatively busy, the others not so much. Pediatric was about 1/3 full. [For those who talk about discrimination in Israel, it’s worth nothing about half the patients were Arab Israeli’s or Arab residents of Jerusalem. So was about 20% of the hospital staff.]
We had to do the standard paperwork and then went to pediatric. They evaluated him on arrival and then we waited about 15 minutes for a quick doctors check. They sent us to X-ray (with a paper to take to tell them what to do).
Our wait at X-ray was 5 minutes, 2 people in front of us. They took the X-rays and sent us back saying “the X-ray results will be on the computer”, no waiting for physical X-rays to be carried back, and sent us back. Back to pediatric ER, they sent us to the waiting room to wait for the results and doctors review.
After about 15 minutes of waiting my son started complaining of serious pain, made worse by trying to position the arm for x-rays. We went back in to the pediatric ER desk, a few minutes later a doctor reviewed the chart and gave him a pain killer. Back to waiting.
The wait was a decent hour and a half, the orthopedic doctor being a popular guy and serving all the ER’s (actually there were 2 of them on staff).
He saw my son, put on a cast, and told us to wait another hour to check for swelling (because we were relatively close in time to the accident, he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t swell up in the cast and cut off the blood flow). It did swell, he opened up part of the cast and sent us home – to go back to an orthoped in 10 days.
Total ER time – 3 1/2 hours, 30 minutes to full evaluation, 2 hours to full treatment. I never got out of the ER in the US in under 6 hours. Ok, the mall business was pretty weird – an interesting way to supplement hospital income.
Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel
Helicopter Landing Pad at night