Recently one Thursday afternoon, an 18-year-old man was involved in a car accident in Jerusalem. Having witnessed the accident, a 35-year-old woman had to stop her car behind the vehicles involved. While waiting for the incident to clear, she went into active labor at the side of the road.
United Hatzalah volunteer Dr. Ariel Lifschitz was standing near his ambucycle not far from the location, accompanying a summer festival procession in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. He received the first emergency alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center alerting him to the accident. He jumped on his ambucycle and flicked on his lights and sirens. The crowd quickly moved back to make way for the volunteer physician, who sped off to the roadside birth.
A United Hatzalah ambulance driver was bringing an ambulance to a mass casualty training exercise in a forested area – en route he was alerted to the woman in labor. The driver (sans crew) raced to the scene in time to help deliver a baby boy! Ariel pulled up alongside the ambulance. He triaged the injured motorcycle rider and saw that his injuries were not life-threatening. He then rushed over to the woman in time to cut the umbilical cord, suction fluids and perform a rapid APGAR exam. The volunteer physician congratulated the parents and helped transfer the mother to an arriving municipal ambulance. He then assisted the crew and attached an IV for access to restorative fluids.
The woman and her little boy were then whisked off to Hadassah Medical Center for further observation; Dr. Lipshitz then turned his attention back to the young motorcyclist. The man had been wounded by a passing vehicle and needed some bandages and treatment. Dr. Lifschitz treated him and made sure that he was stable before he too was transported to the emergency room for X-rays.
Dr. Lifschitz and his ambucycle are not only saving lives, they are helping to bring them safely into this world.
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