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My Saturday of Saving The Elderly
One recent Saturday morning, Adir received an alert about a 90-year-old man who sustained head and back injuries when he fell in his bathroom. Racing to the given location on his ambucycle, Adir arrived at the victim’s apartment just three minutes after receiving the alert. Adir stabilized the patient in a secure position and then skillfully began to treat his wounds. During the 10 minutes that it took the local ambulance to arrive, the compassionate medic stayed by the injured man’s side, monitoring his vitals and speaking encouragingly to him.
Later that morning, as Adir was riding his ambucycle to his parents’ home, he received an alert from United Hatzalah dispatchers about an 80-year-old woman with pulmonary edema who had collapsed in her home. Revving the motor, the seasoned driver cut through local alleyways, arriving at the patient’s apartment in just 90 seconds. Finding her semi-conscious, Adir initiated oxygen therapy and utilizing a bag valve mask channeled high-flow O2 into the frail woman’s lungs. Adir continued to supply high-flow oxygen while he monitored her vitals until the intensive care unit was on site.
Just minutes after leaving that call, Adir was alerted to a 70-year-old man who was suffering from hypoglycemia. Rushed into the apartment by the patient’s anxious family, Adir found the septuagenarian laying on his couch sweating profusely and semi-conscious. Adir checked his vitals and, finding his sugar levels unusually low, promptly supplied him with a prescribed dose of Glucogel. As the patient slowly began to regain consciousness, Adir helped to prep him for transport when the ambulance arrived.
In the evening Adir urgently sped on his ambucycle to the home of an elderly woman. The family called United Hatzalah’s dispatch for their relative who had been complaining of severe breathing problems. Arriving at the address within minutes, Adir assessed the woman’s situation and began suctioning her airway. The patient gasped for air and suddenly she began to convulse. Checking her vitals, he astutely determined that she had just suffered a cardiac arrest. With the help of family members, Adir lowered her to the floor and immediately began CPR intervention, working solo until a fellow responder was at his side. The duo worked in sync until the ambulance crew arrived and continued the emergency intervention before evacuating her to the nearest medical facility.
Adir spoke about responding to emergencies on the weekend, which for him is a personal mission. “For me, responding to emergencies on a weekend is an operation, just like it is when I put on a uniform and do my reserve service in the military. It is a duty that I have and I do it with great love and from a sense of purpose that burns in my blood. There are dozens of emergency calls and each one is a world unto itself. To each one, I have to respond quickly, arrive quickly, treat the person, save a life, and many times arrive just to simply calm the person or their family members and give them a sense of safety and security. In the cases of elderly people who live on their own, this feeling of being cared for is all the more important. They feel a heightened lack that someone is there to care for them, and this is only amplified when they are suffering a medical emergency and screaming for help. This is a mission that is undertaken from the heart. If it isn’t coming from the heart, then there is no purpose to even enter the home of the patient.”
Adir added that there are special emergencies where one can recognize the impact that they have. “There are times when I’ve walked into the same patient’s home a few times. Sometimes the patient remembers me from the previous emergency, extends a hand and gives you a look that says “I know that I will be okay because you are here”. At those times I feel a part of this person’s life. It is something that as a responder I have to deal with as I help them deal with their emergency. It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.”