On Friday night at around 1:45 a.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Kalanit Taub was awakened from her sleep by her communication device alerting her to a medical emergency occurring nearby. A woman was experiencing extreme chest pains at her home just a few streets away. Kalanit jumped out of bed, threw on a sweater, and ran out to her car.
She drove quickly through the dark streets of the early morning and arrived at the address within two minutes of receiving the notification. The woman answered the door in relief and Kalanit recognized her as her friend of almost 16 years. She was very pale and clutching her chest in pain. The EMT checked the woman’s vitals and found that she had high blood pressure. The woman said that she also felt nauseous, in addition to the intense pain in her chest and left arm.
Kalanit realized that the paramedic and ambulance wouldn’t arrive for another few minutes yet, so she had to take action in regards to medicinal treatment. The woman told Kalanit that she had an allergy to certain medications but that she couldn’t recall what kind of medicine it was. Kalanit asked to see the patient’s medical records and quickly scanned the documents to see if aspirin, a medication given to counteract symptoms of a heart attack, was on the list. It wasn’t. Kalanit administered aspirin, and almost immediately after chewing and swallowing the pills, the woman’s pain started to subside.
When the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived a few minutes later, the paramedic rushed inside the house to help. The woman was taken to the nearest hospital, where they told her that she had been experiencing the beginnings of a heart attack. She suffered from an almost complete blockage of one major artery (LAD) and a serious blockage in another in her marginal artery. The doctors at the hospital put in two stents. Thanks to the quick treatment and medications from Kalanit, the heart attack was delayed and she had enough time to make it to the hospital and have the operation. The woman’s life was saved.
“I am constantly rushing out to respond to emergencies,” said Kalanit after the incident, “but when it’s someone I know and it hits close to home, it is even more meaningful. This woman is a dear friend, not only to me but also to many other people in our neighborhood. I’m glad that I was there to help and that she’s doing ok. I look forward to seeing her again once she will be released from the hospital in good health, which will hopefully be soon.”
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