On Monday morning, just after 9:00 a.m., a 57-year-old woman was walking down Ben Gurion Street in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, taking her child to an extracurricular class, when she collapsed on the sidewalk. The incident happened to take place right across the street from the ambulance station and near the home of United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Daniel Malka. Upon seeing the woman collapse, a passerby called for help.
Malka, who was working from home at the time, had already run downstairs and jumped on his ambucycle ready to pull out and respond to a different medical emergency when United Hatzalah’s dispatcher told him about the collapsed woman. He flicked on his lights and sirens and sped to the nearby location arriving at the same time as the only two ambulance staff who were at the station reached the scene.
Malka initiated compressions as the paramedic began to prepare a heart monitor and medications. “It took me less than 20 seconds to arrive at the scene,” said Malka. “We provided near immediate intervention and it made all the difference.”
As Malka and the two ambulance staff launched into CPR, they were joined by three other volunteers from United Hatzalah, Local chapter head Oshri Eliyahu, and EMTs Eran Avraham Binyamini, and Shimon Cohen.
The assembled team rotated taking turns performing chest compressions and assisting with ventilating the patient, as well as drawing medications that the paramedic needed to administer. “We worked together as a team in the fight to save this woman’s life,” said Malka. “None of us wanted to fathom what would happen if she died, especially as she is so young and had collapsed right in front of her children.”
Thankfully, due to the efforts of the combined team, that eventuality never came to pass. After approximately 20 minutes of CPR, the woman’s pulse returned and she began breathing on her own once more. Once her condition stabilized enough to allow her to be transported, she was taken by the ambulance team to the hospital.
“This was the third medical emergency that I responded to this morning,” said Malka. “That is a lot for our town. Thankfully none were as serious as this one, and I am even more thankful that the woman survived. While I have been a volunteer EMT and first responder with the organization for seven years now and have performed dozens of CPRs, both successful and unsuccessful, I can certainly say that it is never easy to have to do something like this. Performing CPR in front of the patient’s family, especially their children, is even more difficult. It is not something that we do every day. Today was intense, even by our standards and I thank God that this one went our way and we were able to save this woman’s life.”
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