On Monday morning at approximately 10:00 a.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Naftali Rotenberg, who also volunteers as the director of the organization’s Carmel region, was working in his office in Kiryat Ata when he was notified that a 70-year-old woman was choking in a restaurant just down the street.
Rotenberg jumped up, rushed out of his office, and hopped into his car without delay. Being only 400 meters from the choking woman’s location, he arrived in 90 seconds. Rotenberg immediately checked her vitals for any signs of a pulse, but the woman was already unconscious and not breathing. He succeeded in removing the lodged pastry that had been stuck in her throat and then continued with the resuscitation process.
Rotenberg was told by the woman’s family that they had all been enjoying their breakfast together when the woman started to choke on her food. As soon as they noticed this, they tried to extricate the blockage from her windpipe but were unsuccessful. The worried family members had called emergency services for help, but not before she had lost consciousness.
After a few compressions, Rotenberg connected the defibrillator that he carried with him. However, the defibrillator did not advise a shock, as it did not sense an abnormal heart rhythm. Rotenberg did not even flinch at this minor impediment and continued with CPR until he succeeded in bringing the woman’s pulse back no more than a few minutes later. A mobile intensive care ambulance arrived afterward and transported the woman to the hospital for further care.
After the incident, Naftali said, “I’m so grateful to United Hatzalah for providing me with the training and equipment necessary to save the lives of people in critical cases like this woman. The very fact that I was able to save this woman and stabilize her condition before the ambulance came to take her to the hospital for medical treatment, proves how important our network of volunteers is, and how important it is that each and every one of us is outfitted with the proper medical equipment.”
Naftali concluded by saying, “The woman’s family is keeping me updated on her condition, and as of now, she is still in need of lots of prayers and blessings and I hope that she has a quick and complete recovery.”
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