On Monday morning a man in his 70s was walking down Zevulun Street in Kiryat Ata when he suddenly lost consciousness and collapsed on the street. As he fell, the man struck his head sustaining a serious injury. Worried passersby called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah volunteer paramedic Raz Diamand had just finished dropping off his children at their respective daycares and was heading back home to start his day. He had just pulled up to a traffic light when his communications device alerted him to the emergency that was occurring just a few blocks away from his location.
Raz turned in the direction of the emergency and quickly drove to the location, arriving as the bystanders were still talking to the dispatchers. Raz was the first emergency responder who had arrived. He pulled out the medical equipment from his trunk, which included an advanced heart monitor as well as medications that he would need to use to attempt to revive the collapsed man. With the help of a few passersby who had arrived to help, Raz initiated CPR and attached the heart monitor.
The monitor quickly gave Raz a reading that showed that the man was not suffering from a case of ventricle fibrillation, but rather a condition known as pulseless electrical activity (PEA), which is caused by a person still having some electrical activity in the heart but no heartbeat. Raz began to treat the man with the appropriate medications but understood that the man had an internal pacemaker which was likely causing the electrical activity and thus the patient wouldn’t receive shocks from the heart monitor.
A few moments later, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shoshana Gutman arrived to assist.
A Shoshana took over compressions, Raz administered medications via an intraosseous bone injection gun and performed a quick intubation in order to ensure proper assisted ventilation. After 10 minutes a regular ambulance arrived and the team joined the effort to save the man’s life.
“We worked together as a team in complete cooperation,” Raz said as he spoke about the lifesaving effort. “I attribute this man’s survival to the fact that we worked seamlessly and well, and the speed in which we responded. Without our quick intervention, and the assessment from the heart monitor alerting me to what type of condition the man had and thus how to diagnose and treat him, the man would likely have not survived.”
15 minutes after Raz arrived the team succeeded in bringing back the man’s pulse. Shortly thereafter they managed to stabilize him. When the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived, they found that the patient’s pulse had returned and that he was ready for transport to the hospital.
“It is always rewarding to step out of one’s regular rhythm and be able to save a life,” said Raz. “It changes one’s outlook for the entire day and I am thankful that I have the knowledge and equipment with me that enable me to save lives and help people just like we helped save the man today.”
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