Using Oxygen To Help Save A Drowning Man

Mishael Nahum is a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT who hails from the southern city of Ashkelon. Mishael is a core volunteer in the Ashkelon area ambucycle unit, and has been volunteering as an EMT for the past six years. The dedicated volunteer just finished an ambulance driver training course and is now part of the ambulance team in Ashkelon. He prides himself on responding to as many emergencies as he can to help out those in need.

Mishael on his ambucycle

One evening a few weeks ago, Mishael was taking a stroll down the boardwalk parallel to the beach, with his ambucycle parked nearby. The sound of the crashing waves was suddenly disturbed by the ringing sound of Misael’s emergency communications device. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center identified Mishael as the nearest volunteer to a medical emergency further down the beach from his location. A man had drowned and was pulled onto the beach by his friends. Wasting no time, Mishael rushed to his parked ambucycle and hurried down the road to the given location.

Arriving in under a minute, Mishael found worried friends and an unresponsive man. One friend explained to Mishael that the group was in the water when he turned around and noticed that his friend was unconscious. The group pulled their friend out of the water and immediately called for help.

Examining the man, Mishael noticed that the man’s airway was clear. Grabbing the oxygen tank and non-rebreather mask out of his medical kit, the EMT administered high-flow oxygen. Having stabilized the patient, Mishael and additional United Hatzalah volunteers who had arrived in the interim, carried the man to an ambulance that arrived but had been forced to wait at a nearby access road.

“I feel a great deal of satisfaction when I am out saving lives,” Mishael said. “It is a feeling I cannot get anywhere else. I am grateful for the oxygen tank that was in my medical kit. Administering high flow oxygen to a drowning victim greatly increases their chances of survival. The number of drowning cases in Israel is sadly quite high and I feel honored for the opportunity to have lowered that number.”

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