In most cases of cardiac arrest and the initiation of CPR, the patients do not survive, and even in cases where they do, they most often take some time to regain full consciousness. On Monday morning in the town of Tel Mond, a surprising turn of events took place, one that is usually only seen in films.
The incident occurred just after 7:30 a.m. when a man in his 50s began to feel severe chest pains while he was out running. He turned around and ran home and called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shlomi Lifshitz was at home preparing his child to go to camp when he received the alert notifying him of the emergency which was taking place a few streets away from his home. When Shlomi arrived, the man was lying down but conscious.
“When I arrived at the man’s home he told me that he took 200 mg of aspirin and chewed them and then took another 100 mg and swallowed it,” Shlomi said. “This was a very good step as the proper protocol for an EMT to treat a patient with chest pain is to give them 300 mg of aspirin and have the patient chew it before swallowing. He told me that the pain had subsided somewhat and was talking with me fully aware of his surroundings.”
As the two were talking the man suddenly began to complain of severe dizziness and his eyes rolled back in his head. “His breathing became very erratic and his entire body spasmed. The patient who I was talking with a moment before was now completely unresponsive, not to verbal stimulation, nor to pain, it was terrifying to behold.”
Shlomi, together with the help of the man’s friend who arrived when he heard the commotion, gently but quickly lowered the man off the bed and onto the floor and began to perform CPR. “I began chest compressions and asked the friend to take out and prepare the defibrillator that I had brought with me”, Shlomi recounted. “Once that was done, I had the friend switch with me and take over compressions as I applied the defibrillator pads. The defibrillator advised a shock, I delivered one and the man’s body jumped.”
“Right after I administered the shock, the man woke up and regained full consciousness,” Shlomi added. “The man was a bit confused as to what was happening but recalled why we were there. After the mobile intensive care ambulance showed up a while later, they attached a heart monitor and did a full workup of the man’s condition. He was transported to the hospital with what appeared to be a myocardial infarction in part of his heart. This condition is survivable but only if the person receives immediate intervention like what happened today. I am thankful that I was there to help save this man’s life, it filled me with joy for the rest of the day, and I wish him a full recovery.”
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