Clinical characterization of 162 COVID-19 patients in Israel: Preliminary Report from a Large Tertiary Center

Edward Itelman, Yishay Wasserstrum, Amitai Segev, Chen Avaky, Liat Negru, Dor Cohen, Natia Turpashvili, Sapir Anani, Eyal Zilber, Nir Lasman, Ahlam Athamna, Omer Segal, Tom Halevy, Yehuda Sabiner, Yair Donin, Lital Abraham, Elisheva Berdugo, Adi Zarka, Dahlia Greidinger, Muhamad AgbariaNoor Kitany, Eldad Katorza, Gilat Shenhav-Saltzman, Gad Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In February 2020, the World Health Organisation designated the name COVID-19 for a clinical condition caused by a virus identified as a cause for a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. The virus subsequently spread worldwide, causing havoc to medical systems and paralyzing global economies. The first COVID-19 patient in Israel was diagnosed on 27 February 2020. Objectives: To present our findings and experiences as the first and largest center for COVID-19 patients in Israel. Methods: The current analysis included all COVID-19 patients treated in Sheba Medical Center from February 2020 to April 2020. Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological data gathered during their hospitalization are presented. Results: Our 162 patient cohort included mostly adult (mean age of 52 ± 20 years) males (65%). Patients classified as severe COVID-19 were significantly older and had higher prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes. They also had significantly higher white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low folic acid blood levels were more common among severe patients (18.2 vs. 12.9 vs. 9.8, P= 0.0H). The rate of immune compromised patients (12%) in our cohort was also higher than in the general population. The rate of deterioration from moderate to severe disease was high: 9% necessitated non-invasive oxygenation and 15% were intubated and mechanically ventilated. The mortality rate was 3.1%. Conclusions: COVID-19 patients present a challenge for healthcare professionals and the whole medical system. We hope our findings will assist other providers and institutions in their care for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-274
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Internal medicine
  • Israel
  • Patient characteristics


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