Why We Need To Carry Oxygen At All Times

One evening, a few months ago just after 8 p.m., a 47-year-old man from Givat Ko’ach, a small moshav bordering the central plains of Israel, went out for an evening jog. During his run, he suddenly collapsed and fell unconscious to the ground. Due to the rural nature of the town, there are only a few people out on the streets at night, but thankfully, someone witnessed the man fall and called for help. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch Center received the call and alerted volunteer EMT Moshe Saadon to the location of the emergency.

Scene of the incident

Moshe, who lives in the city of Elad, reached the location in just under 5 minutes. Arriving together with another United Hatzalah ambucycle volunteer, the duo immediately checked for a pulse and finding none, launched into CPR on the unconscious man.

Moshe administered chest compressions while his colleague applied defibrillator pads to the man’s chest. The machine advised a shock and Moshe stood back, as his partner administered a shock. Moshe then resumed the compressions while his partner hooked up a bag-valve-mask to his oxygen tank and began to administer assisted ventilation.

The two EMTs continued their efforts, changing roles at regular intervals, allowing Moshe to regain his strength while his partner took over the strenuous compressions and vice versa. They continued to alternate and after 7 minutes the man’s pulse returned.

The duo continued the oxygen therapy, opened an IV line, and vigilantly monitored the patient’s fragile condition as they waited for the ambulance to arrive. By the time it finally came, about 12 minutes later, the man had a pulse but was still unconscious. Moshe joined the ambulance team on the way to the nearest hospital, where the patient was transferred, keeping the oxygen flowing for the whole ride.

“Oxygen is a vital component when a person collapses,” Moshe said. “The man was running and something in his system began to malfunction. When a person does not receive the right amount of oxygen, he can lose consciousness and collapse. The oxygen we administered to the man went to his head and lungs, where he was lacking oxygen. This resulted in his pulse eventually returning as his heart began to function once again. We saved a life that day with the help of my oxygen tank, an item that is of vital importance for every EMT to carry with them at all times.”

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