The Jerusalem Post
MK arrives to Knesset by ambulance, casts critical vote for gov’t on stretcher
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s unity government gained the confidence of the Knesset by a narrow margin of 60-59 on Sunday, and every vote was critical.
The new coalition knew it would be a close call, and that is why the presence of Labor MK Emilie Moatti, who has a painful medical condition, was essential.
Moatti arrived at the Knesset in an ambulance and lay on a stretcher in the back of the plenum during the voting procedures.
It was such a sensitive situation that Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy chose to forgo his acceptance speech to allow Moatti to return home sooner.
“MK Moatti came in an ambulance to vote,” Levy said. “We want to let her go. So I will skip my speech and just thank you for trusting me.”
What’s wrong with Moatti? Although no confidential details could be shared about her, Dr. Yuval Baruch, a spine surgeon at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, told The Jerusalem Post Moatti suffers from a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak that resulted from a recent medical procedure.
CSF is a clear fluid that is generated by the brain at a rate of as much as 16 to 20 cu.cm. per hour. The fluid circulates all the way through the spinal cord and then back to the brain.
“When a medical procedure is performed, even as an outpatient, such as an epidural block, if it is not done in a very specific way, sometimes it can puncture the sack in which the fluid is contained,” Baruch said. “If this happens, the CSF can leak out. It is a high-pressure leak.”
Symptoms from the leak are headaches, dizziness and even swelling. The first treatment is to lay flat on one’s back for a couple of days to alleviate the pressure and allow the rupture to heal.
In rare cases, if lying flat does not ease the situation, it can be resolved through more invasive means, such as through a blood patch or a shunt, Baruch explained.
A blood patch is a small amount of blood that is injected near the site of the puncture. As the blood clots, it forms a patch and seals the leak. A shunt is a “special drain that shunts the fluid out of the body,” Baruch said.