Monday, January 12, 2009

jan 5, 2009

i worked in the hospital in ashkelon
day 10 since israel responded with airstrikes against the constant rocket attacks on the south of israel by hamas
arriving at 8 am
almost no activity
all elective work cancelled
usually morning report has 15 docs
this morning 6
no reports of deliveries from day before
usually several procedures, deliveries, cs
on alert that anyone not in active labor , or in active labor but can be safely transported to another
then the alarms began
code red -- tzeva adom
all times running to the bomb shelter
first i hear the city alarm, for 10 seconds and go running
then the hosp voiceover sounds
tzeva adom...tzeva adom
and within 5 seconds each time
boom! loud and close
another kassam or grad rocket falls in walking distance and earshot of our hosp
to say the least
what to do if a woman is being examined, naked, contracting, on monitors
do we abandon her to save ourselves
not too morally sound or simple
even if so instructed by those around us
and then comes a patient 6 cm
third baby
at 5pm
bleeding we bring her to a basement bomb safe area
though not truly a protected shelter
better than the labor room
with a thin roof and no insulation from a rocket that would easily penetrate
the last rocket that fell 20 minutes north
penetrated the thin roof of an empty kindergarten
spraying shrapnel
and lightly wounding 2 in the area
children safe
because the military demanded no school in the south regions of israel this woman is progressing to 8cm and bleeding like an abruption of a placenta but in the same hour, not showing any signs of fetal demise
feeling somewhat safer in the makeshift labor room in the amb surg area in the basement
but still not sure of what is happening on ground leve
land what could penetrate to where we are
then her pain is intense
no time to get an epidural
and she begins to pray
but not to dilate and deliver
rather that our soldiers should stay safe and quickly return with victory
and she begs Hashem for such to happen
as if the merciful Lord heard her cries
and as is known
reacts to selfless acts with kindness
she delivers within minutes of her prayers
the midwives are crying
and not because she delivered safely under fire of rockets
but rather because her prayers were so intense and heartfelt
her baby is placed warm and safely into a bomb shelter-turned nursery
may Hakodesh Baruchu continue to bless us with no further suffering and healthy patients
and a quick return to life as normal
only 14 hours to go on call
keep it safe
dr g

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