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HMO Update - 2/17/2011

Ron Krumer

Bomb victims: Physician treats in Israel
Johannes Guggenmos lives in Jerusalem  –  A-levels at Bodensee-Gymnasium

Lindau / Jerusalem - bomb victims and war injuries are not unusual to Johannes Guggenmos. The young doctor is working in Israel at the Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital Jerusalem - where he can see and experience things which others only know from television. The time in Israel impressed his life and his understanding of war and peace.

Since 2010 the former student of Bodensee-Gymnasium lives and works in Israel and qualified as a specialist in plastic and aesthetic surgery. Back in 2001 Guggenmos already spent part of his studies in Jerusalem during the second Intifada. "This period was marked by one terror-attack followed by the next. "Since then I have been in friendly contact with my colleagues in Israel," says Johannes Guggenmos. In his current role he has requested and obtained an annual scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). "The DAAD has sent me as a gift to Israel - this is an important sign that officials from outside are investing into the future of this region" states Johannes Guggenmos .

The Hospital is an island of peace

If Johannes Guggenmos talks about his work, his enthusiasm for his job but also for the country can be felt. In the Hadassah-Medical-Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem - this is the Jewish-Israeli hospital in which the guy originating from Lindau works today - all patients receive the same treatment. Whether they are of deeply orthodox Jewish faith,  Muslims or Christians - whether they come to the hospital either from Israel, or from the so-called West-Bank or from the state of Jordan. In a country where there have been many decades of bloody conflicts and wars inbetween Jews, Muslims and Christians this is a special feature. "We are proud that our work can be seen as a contribution to peace - at least in health care," says Johannes Guggenmos. "Our hospital is an island of peace."

The young German speaks Hebrew, but his German accent betrays his origins. For this reason he is even more pleased if his Jewish patients occasionally respond in German - some with deep Bavarian or Viennese accent. "I am accepted by the people in very good ways - and this is happening in the consciousness of history." These patients had experienced a horrifying past which were caused by the German people - but these same patients did not become embittered. "They believe in a common future of Israelis and Germans."

The risk of terror-attacks in Jerusalem can never be excluded, but compared to previous years it is far less likely to happen. The separation wall is felt in daily life and harsh reality for all. "But the wall is protecting from terror-attacks in Israel," says Guggenmos. Like everyone else who passes the checkpoints also each ambulance that passes to get to Hadassah-Medical-Center needs to undergo inspections in detail - no matter of the patient´s origin. "Terror-attacks in the past have shown that this is an important and necessary act" says the young doctor. 

The political situation is tense

"The State of Israel is not recognized in his existence by a majority of the Arab side and this is the main reason which prevents a peaceful solution of the conflict. This makes life extremely difficult," says Guggenmos. Due to the difficult political situation and cultural diversity the people who live in Jerusalem are often tense - though they were very open to strangers and had received him very well. 

A difficult fact in daily life which stands for the challenge in the hospital for Guggenmos that he does not try to avoid: the diversity of the population. "Our work ranges in a wide scale by the big variety of the groups of the population. Our skills are challenged and I am encouraged to do a good job." For his work as a plastic surgeon Johannes Guggenmos can learn a lot from his colleagues: " The Israelis are experts in this field of medicine. We perform reconstructions of body-areas after accidents or of victims injured in violent political conflicts. The reconstruction of defects caused by cancer or skin tumors by the high solar radiation and the treatment of burn injuries are also part of the daily work. 

During his visits to his home area Johannes Guggenmos is relaxing. "Only now I am aware of the fact in which peaceful surroundings the people there have the privilege to live in. No one wants to take away one's land. "With family and friends he gets some rest and he enjoys to relax on a sailing-boat in the summer. "Nevertheless after a certain period of time I drift into a restlessness which takes me back to Israel. And if I go back there it feels that I don´t have to leave but getting home."

Hadassah Trail

Following the news from most of the USA and Europe with this crazy winter and snow storms makes it only natural to plan a trip to Israel. Here, we have a very mild winter. It's bad for the country's water reservoirs, but it is certainly a great retreat from the cold. While visiting the hospital (of course!!) you may want to spend some time in a beautiful natural environment – a natural path, Hadassah trail. A few days ago it was mentioned in a nice way on the internet, and I'd like to share it with you.

Click here and enjoy. After you read it, take the first plane, come over, put on your walking shoes, and you're in for a real treat.

Hadassah International

The cosmopolitan mosaic of people from all over the world working at Hadassah is a well known fact. One of them is a young Plastic Surgeon from Germany – Dr. Johannes Guggenmos. He was interviewed recently by a German Newspaper, and even translated the publishe interview to English.

Dr. Guggemos was also interviewed to a program in ARTE – a European cultural TV Channel. We are waiting to here from them when it will be broadcasted. Arte is available in France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.

Revolutionary New CT Scanner Installed at Hadassah-Mt. Scopus

Hadassah has installed a revolutionary new Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner – the first of its kind in Israel – at its Mt. Scopus University Hospital. The new OPTIMA CT660, manufactured by General Electric, has demonstrated consistent high image quality at a dramatically low dose across examination types and body regions. It produces up to 128 pictures per round, providing information for fast and definitive diagnoses while patients stay calm and comfortable, without anesthesia. 

This feature is extremely important when dealing with functioning organs such as the heart and an essential consideration for treating children, trauma victims and patients with neurological problems.

Equally important, the OPTIMA's reconstruction ASIR system emits 50 percent less radiation per test.  

In comparison with conventional scanners, the ASIR system also overcomes the issues of noise and image artifact by actually removing noise instead of masking it, as image-filtering methods do – a significant asset when scanning problematic areas, such as the back lobes of the brain and metal prosthetic joints.

The new scanner's advanced functions include the ability to scan a large area, such as the entire brain or liver, a major benefit in assessing the damage to patients who have suffered strokes and other brain events. This feature helps identify brain infraction, measure its size and identify brain tissues that can be saved by drug treatment to break up or dissolve blood clots.

The OPTIMA CT660's navigation system allows physicians to better assess the performance and progress of invasive treatments and allows the guidance of minimally invasive surgery. This function enables quick and accurate access to the affliction, which will significantly shorten the procedure.

The scanner also has an advanced work station, which enables the accurate reconstruction of blood vessels, including those in the heart and virtual reconstructions, including virtual colonoscopy – just a few of its many advantages. 

Date: 2/17/2011 12:00:00 AM

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