Just after 12 pm on Shabbos afternoon, a man in his late 30s was jogging down Histadrut Street in Givatayim when he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the street. Worried passersby called emergency services for help.
A passing doctor who serves in the IDF saw what happened, rushed over to assist, and initiated CPR. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shmuel Leibtag was shaving at home when he received the alert regarding the unconscious man. He quickly wiped his face mid-shave, ran outside to his emergency e-bike, and sped over to the scene.
Another volunteer EMT, Roei Yifrach, was taking a late morning nap after having been up late the night before. He was awoken from his slumber by the emergency alert and ran downstairs to his ambucycle. As he lives on the street just a few buildings away from the incident he didn’t even turn on his ambucycle, rather he grabbed the medical kit and defibrillator and rushed over, arriving at the same time as Shmuel.
The pair of EMTs attached the defibrillator and took over compressions from the doctor, allowing him to prepare and administer adrenaline and other medications that Roei had brought with him in his medical kit. They alternated between performing compressions and providing assisted ventilation until the defibrillator advised them to provide a shock. After the shock was delivered the team continued CPR. Another three shocks were delivered over the course of 15 minutes as the trio was joined by other responders and a mobile intensive care ambulance. 15 minutes after the emergency call was made, the man’s pulse and breathing returned. The CPR had been a success.
“These are the moments we train for,” said Roei, who followed up with some friends at the hospital and found out that the man underwent emergency catheterization and had a stent put in and is now fully conscious and doing much better. “Our actions during these few seconds, or minutes, that make the difference between life and death is why we spend hours training and volunteering, just so that when an emergency like this occurs, we will be ready to save a life, and thankfully we succeeded in doing that today.”
Shmuel added, “These instances make it all worthwhile. Knowing that this man will now be able to go home, to his family, and be able to continue to live once again, fills me with such pride and I am proud to have been a part of it.”
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