On Tuesday night, just after midnight, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Lior Filshteiner was winding down in his home in Hod Hasharon after a long day of volunteering in the ICU at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba. After Lior’s communications device alerted him to a nearby medical emergency, he found himself on his ambucycle, en route to the given location of the emergency.
Arriving alongside volunteer EMTs Nati Priatet and another United Hatzalah volunteer named Guy, the three EMTs rushed into the apartment and found a middle-aged man complaining of acute chest pains. To make matters worse, the man was having trouble breathing.
Lior and his colleagues got to work, starting with a quick check of the man’s vital signs while administering Aspirin. A few minutes later a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene and joined in the effort. A heart monitor was attached and the readings revealed that he was not in immediate danger and was in stable condition. The EMTs and ambulance crew readied their gear and turned to leave as the man went to his room to get a sweater since he was feeling chills.
As the medical teams made it downstairs the man’s wife rushed down frantically informing them that her husband had just collapsed. Lior and his fellow first responders rushed back up and found the victim lying on the ground, unconscious and pulseless. The man had suffered a cardiac arrest, just after they left.
The team of medical personnel quickly launched into full-blown CPR, attaching a defibrillator which instantly advised a shock. A few minutes after the first shock was delivered the defibrillator signaled that another one was needed. The shocks were followed up by chest compressions and assisted ventilation. After an hour of CPR, the man’s pulse returned and he was transported to the Meir hospital, still unconscious.
“It is not very often when a volunteer gets the chance to visit a patient he saved,” said Guy. “When you do get the chance of a visit, it is important, in my opinion, to do so.”
On Wednesday evening, Lior and Guy went to visit the man whose life they helped save. When the volunteers arrived, the victim greeted them on his feet, demonstrating that he was indeed recovering.
“I always make it a goal of mine to visit the patients I perform CPR on,” commented Lior. “I volunteer in the ICU room, so this makes it fairly easy to enter and find a person whom I have helped in the field. These visits can give first responders a lot of strength and drive to keep responding to medical emergencies no matter where or when they occur. The man we treated on Tuesday, is a good man. Thankfully, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know one another since the incident. We decided that when he is released from the hospital, which we expect will happen soon, we will all go to his house to enjoy some beer and soccer.”
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