On Monday afternoon, just before 2:00 p.m., a 61-year-old man was sitting down for a meal with his wife in the dining hall of their nursing home on Malachi Yisrael Street in Jerusalem. The elderly couple were enjoying lunch when the man began to choke. The nurses at the home attempted to expel the food from his throat, but as it was lodged deep in his airway, the staff were unable to do so. As the staff called for help, the man lost consciousness, as his body did not receive oxygen due to complete airway obstruction.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Michael Groscot was in his home getting ready to leave for work at a shift in the United Hatzalah’s national Dispatch and Command Center when he was identified as one of the closest volunteers to the scene. Michael notified dispatch that he was on his way and sped over on his ambucycle, arriving in just under two minutes.
Michael arrived to find medical personnel from the nursing home performing CPR on the 61-year-old and immediately joined the efforts, taking over chest compressions. A defibrillator was attached, but no shock was advised as the defibrillator could not analyze a heart rhythm. After a few rounds of compressions, Michael was relieved by another EMT, when he found a bulge on the man’s skin, indicating an implanted cardiac pacemaker.
Michael quickly notified the team of his finding. The patient’s cardiac failure background contributed to the urgency of the man’s revival attempts. A mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene and was notified of the patient’s condition and background. After a few more rounds of advanced CPR including medications administered by the paramedic, the man’s pulse was restored.
After a quick briefing with the old age home staffed nurses and the first arriving EMTs, including Michael, the man was taken to the nearest hospital for further treatment and observation. Michael then gathered his medical equipment and headed over to United Haztalah’s headquarters in Jerusalem for a shift at the dispatch center.
“I have been volunteering with United Hatzalah for almost 11 years now,” commented Michael. “All this time volunteering has shown me that even though the hardships and unsuccessful treatments, it is all worth it to be able to help save even one life. As I sit here in the dispatch center, I am proud to be part of such an organization.”
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