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‘A soldier like any other’: IDF K-9 treated at regular hospital following injury

At the Shamir Medical Center, physicians are accustomed to caring for individuals with a range of injuries within the pressurized confines of their pressure chambers.

However, a recent patient proved to be rather unique: Mikey, a dog from the elite Oketz (Sting) Special Forces unit, who had suffered a head injury during a mission in Gaza.

  • “In my view, she’s a soldier like any other,” stated Prof. Shay Efrati, head of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center.

He clarified that Mikey had a severe head injury, with pieces of shrapnel lodged in her skull.

“She spent the first two weeks at the veterinary hospital, her life in great danger,” Prof. Efrati said.

  • “Now, she’s dealing with a brain injury from the explosion, and we’re treating her the same way we would treat other soldiers. We haven’t treated dogs in a pressure chamber before, but the veterinary hospital was in touch with us. They explained her injury, showed us the test results, and we considered how we would treat a soldier with the same injury – and did just that.”

He further explained,

  • “The use of a pressure chamber is meant to help repair and heal brain tissue that’s been damaged. We’ve done a lot of research on this, and we use this treatment for soldiers once they’re no longer in immediate danger. This treatment helps speed up the healing of brain injuries. With our medical protocols, we stimulate the brain to create new neurons and blood vessels. Using a pressure chamber can help treat conditions that occur after a head injury. We also use the same treatment for car accident victims who’ve suffered severe concussions.”