Hear firsthand from an Israeli doctor who treats patients injured from terror attacks at the Fellowship-supported Shaare Zedek Hospital.
Israel has been putting a lot of energy into making sure hospitals have a strict plan to receive mass casualties. At least once a year, I’ll drill our staff to ensure everyone knows their position and what to do when a suicide bomb explodes and 100 victims are coming in. This is a huge load on any emergency room; you need to understand the flow, have the right priorities and know how to deal with those patients who are already in the hospital.
From a purely medical point of view, treating terror victims is no different than other patients, but there are differences. First, terror victims come to the hospital in a much more critical condition, which means treatment is more urgent. People involved in such incidents also have a higher chance of developing PTSD.
To make things more complicated, in many of these incidents, we had to treat the terrorist alongside the victims. Sometimes, if their condition is more critical, we’ll operate on the terrorist first. We’re extremely strict with treating patients as patients without judging them, but explaining this to the victims and their families is not easy.