Warning: Bathing in the sea can be hazardous to your health. Besides the usual hazards of drowning and skin damage from the sun, this season is liable to involve hazards from large waves and jelly fish, known in Hebrew as Medusot.
A 15 year-old was recently hospitalized in Netanya's Laniado Hospital with rupture of her liver after having been hit by a wave while swimming. The girl was hit in her back by a strong wave. When she returned to the shore, she felt intense stomach pains and was brought by ambulance to the emergency ward in Laniado hospital. An ultrasound examination indicated that an internal stomach wound might have occurred. A C.T. examination indicated that she was suffering from a rupture of the liver with light bleeding.
The Laniado medical staff decided that there was no need for an operation, and prescribed rest and follow-up instead. A number of days later, she was released to her home.
Dr. Yaakov Shechter, director of the Children's Department of Laniado, explains that this was a very rare case: the risk of suffering internal damage from the blow of a wave is quite low. "There is no need to fear swimming in the ocean. Nonetheless, in the event of a massive blow followed by pains or weakness, one must seek medical attention to ascertain that no internal organs such as the liver have been damaged."
Another girl was hospitalized because of burns and infection from jellyfish. Dr. Shechter told Yated Ne'eman that a number of people have been recently hospitalized due to encounters with jelly fish.
A huge mass of jelly fish -- about a hundred kilometers long but only about a kilometer wide -- has moved in from the Mediterranean to a position near the coast. It is not known how long it will be a menace, but it generally remains some distance away and only stray jelly fish enter the area of bathing. With caution they can be avoided.