Thursday, September 20, 2007

What happened in Ichilov Hospital?

Cardiac Arrest.

Flatline alarm on the EKG.

Get the paddles!

You've seen it all before. TV shows like ER and Chicago Hope give you a glimpse of what goes on in hospital emergency rooms. I was once performing chest compressions as part of a CPR effort when the paramedic's cellphone went off -- his ringtone was that of the ER theme music..and I felt a weird "out of body" experience as I saw myself performing CPR to the tune of imitating fiction.

Yet what happened 2 months ago in Tel-Aviv's Ichilov Hospital is not fiction; the Ichilov Emergency Room Chief Doctor (on call that evening) personally gave me this first hand account last week.
The patient had flatlined.

No electrical signals were going to his heart.

His heart wasn't pumping.

The emergency medical staff were well trained; among them included a senior cardiologist.

They used defibrillator paddles.


No response.

They injected him with all sorts of medications.


CPR continues...Compressions....Oxygen...Drugs...Electrical Shocks...constant monitoring.

Flatline. Nothing.

The senior cardiologist, a religious Jew, is about to "call the time", but first bends down near the patient's head, and whispers into his ear the final words that Jews have said for thousands of years before they pass on, "Shma Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad."

Everyone in the room was silent.


The EKG heart monitor started to beep.

The shocked medical team stared at the monitor...and then at the patient...and restarted administering medical help.

The patient walked out of the hospital on his on 2 feet a few days later.
The story flew around the hospital staff that night. It started off as a miracle. As the hours went by, the story was slowly would have happened anyway...

Prayers sometimes get the desired effect, sometimes it appears they are ignored, sometimes we are deserving and sometimes not.

This Yom Kippur, may all our prayers be favorably heard and answered, and may we be granted forgiveness from each other and from G-d.

Please accept my sincerest apologies if I wrote anything here or in a comment elsewhere which embarressed or offended.

May we all be sealed in the Books of Life, Good Health, and Prosperity.

Gmar Chatima Tova,


PS: Any medical discrepancy/error in this post is my own, and not of the person who relayed the story to me.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Anonymous said...

nice story except that you don't defifibrillate if the patient is flatline. you give meds and cpr and try to establish any type of rhythm -and then you can shock!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous: any medical discrepancy with the actual order in this posting is my own error.

I think I'll add this comment into the post as well :)

Anonymous said...

Can't take the heat, eh? Such a passion for honesty.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

anon: Heat? If you want an exact blow by blow of every detail in the ER, I could get it for you.

As I wrote; anything that's incorrect medically in my posting -- it's mine exclusively.

Anonymous said...

The gullibility and credulity is yours too.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

anon 4:34

I think you're seeing this slightly warped. This was an interesting actually happened (perhaps with the medical details slightly changed around. I'm not a doctor, let alone a cardiologist).

Was prayer involved here? Could be.

May our prayers be you have a problem with that?

Gmar tov!

LT said...

Here's a possible cool (but not quite "miraculous") approach:

Perhaps though this person's heart had stopped beating, there was still electrical activity in the brain. Perhaps the words the doctor spoke reached them, and triggered something. It's a more biochemical reading than a miraculous one, but still inspiring in its own right.

Anonymous said...

Was magic involved here? Could be.

May our incantations be you have a problem with that?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

anon 4:50. I don't know what magic is. Sorry.

Incantations? To whom? Sounds ominous.

mevaseretzion said...

Anonymous, get a life. This is not the place for your manifesto.

Jameel, great post. Just as Ezekiel breathed life into the dry bones as commanded by God, and your doctor saved this patient with prayer and faith, so may our national spirit be revived this year, and may we experience the renewal of our passion and love for God and Israel, with the coming of the redemption.

Gmar tov to everyone!

Anonymous said...

Prayers? To whom? Sounds ominous.

PsychoToddler said...

The longer I practice medicine, the more I realize just how miraculous every second of life is. There are a bajillion things that can go wrong, and they don't. Most of the time.

Nice story.

(Bajillion is not a unit of measure)

Anonymous said...

Jameel, thank you for sharing this with us.


Anonymous said...

then the miracle (we cannot ever quantify) is that those six specific words were the catalyst to trigger the brain into getting the heart pumping again. Or maybe saying something else like 'wake up' or 'see you later' would have had the same effect.

Anonymous said...

Cool story. I used to be very skeptical about such things, but I'm less so now.

G'mar Tov.

Lady-Light said...

This post of yours really generated a lot of uh, interest.
I'm going with the 'prayer did it' philosophy, because I want to believe. Gmar Hatimah Tovah(btw Jameel, I forgive you for everything.)

mnuez said...

Man... Come on! I love the mushy, ahavas yisroel stuff and I'm entirely there with you, but I'm totally calling bullshit on this story. Can't you just extend the hug without any dramatized half-remembered Hashem story?

And I only mention this (on Erev Yom Kippur, no less!) because

a) I think this DOES NOT represent your actual mindset at all and that this was just some momentary weakness and

b) it offends the hell out of me with it's stupidity. God kills and maims and tortures people left and right but sometimes, if you move your lips in the just the right way... HE'LL TOTALLY CHANGE ALL OF THE LAWS OF NATURE FOR YOU. And sometimes he won't and he'll just let your captors torture you a little worse than they had been before.

But of course I love you and I wish you a most excellent new year, bro!


Sara with NO H said...

I think it was beautiful.

a gmar chasima tova shanas geula vyeshua v'hisromos keren yisroel. a git yom tov easy fast poil ois alwes git.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Mnuez I don't know you and you don't know me, but I believe that yes, sometimes G-d, who is the only entity with the whole picture (you and I only see a little of it), sometimes does things that look pretty awful to us. I'll spare you my personal experiences. And yes, sometimes G-d does some things that are absolutely mindblowing in their unlikeliness and strangeness and their GOODNESS. I am also priviledged to have experienced some of those. On the whole, I trust that G-d knows what He is doing. Gemar Tov

Anonymous said...

I read a very interesting point on miracles, it asked why dont spetacular miracles occur these days ? the answer is that they do.. we are just cynical and write it off as science or even tricks.

If the story of yonah happend today, it would be written off as chance, fable, fiction, coincidence. The people are liars, insane, disilusioned, schitzphobic etc.. etc..

I have undergone 14 operations, I have had more miracles than I have fingers (yes I thank g-d have all 10)

Like the time I had neck / spinal tumors and my neurosurgeon wouldent touch them and sent me to his teacher world famous Dr fred epstein who operated on them and I just lost some mnuscles that were cut.

Dr epstein was hit by a car while biking a few years later..

No other surgeon would get near me, they all said I would be paralyzed g-d forbid.

I have had 5 spinal surgery's including spinal fusion with titanium rods implanted.

I have had brain surgery, I went deaf and regained my hearing due to auditary brain implant.

I stand before you and g-d at 22, healthy and strong as a ox. I challenge you.. do you not believe in miracles ?!?!?

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Wow Elchonon! Hodu l'hashem ki tov!

the sabra said...

thanks for postin this. i got chills. i believe.

Anonymous said...

I also have a reaction like mnuez's. Why is Hashem available at certain times & places, but not others? Why, despite the existance of mountains & mountains of suffering in the world, do we fixate on a very few, very lucky souls who seem to have received special treatment?

I readily admit that I don't know G-d's motivations or plans. Who am I to rule out miracles or the power of prayer? This seems pretty far-fetched, though.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous and All: I think you are missing an important point of this story.

1. The Doctor who said shma into the person's ear was saying it because of "tziduk hadin". That's what you say when a person dies...or is dying...and you say it with them or for them. It wasn't said as a prayer to help him get better.

2. I didn't say I had a rational reason for it, or even a spiritual reason for it. However, it DID happen. Why? Don't know. HOWEVER -- living here, one experiences all sorts of meta-coincidental incidents which could easily be seen as miracles.

Why some are worthy and some not? I have no clue...

mnuez said...

Sigh... I wrote up a snide response to the Prayer People that sorta rips them a new asshole. I mean, their "Knowledge" in the miracles of prayer an' all is just Soooo ridiculous and fairytale-esque. But,,, after all, to what end? Whatever I could write you've probably already read and it hasn't effected you, and besides, I'm happy for you. You're members of my tribe and I hope that we love each other - and if you happen to believe in some irrational opiate that gets you high... all the better for you. I mean, you're not really rational people, so good, believe what you like. It's good stuff. And hey, maybe it's true. Either way, have a blessed new year.

Cheers ~


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Kamagra said...

I cannot understand what happened in this hospital because the information is not clear, i want that you explain more or give more clear information to know exactly the true history.

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