On Monday afternoon, just after 12:00 p.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Gilad Sharaby was in his home in Petah Tikva when he was suddenly alerted to a nearby medical emergency. A few blocks away, a young man had collapsed in his apartment, and United Hatzalah Dispatch and Command Center located Gilad as one of the nearest volunteers to the location. Gilad quickly rushed to his ambucycle and headed to the given address. 

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UH Ambucycle en route to an emergency (Photo Credit: Shira Hershkop)

Arriving in under a minute, Gilad had trouble entering the building and was delayed for a few more seconds. After successfully locating the apartment, Gilad found a young woman attempting compressions on an unconscious 20-year-old man. The woman was frantic and confused but relieved as she saw Gilad enter and take over compressions.


As Gilad positioned himself by the pulseless patient, an additional EMT arrived at the scene and administered assisted ventilations. Together, the two EMTs performed multiple rounds of CPR in an attempt to revive the man.


After a few minutes of CPR, additional EMTs and medical personnel began arriving at the scene, replacing Gilad with compressions and attaching a defibrillator. With one EMT performing compressions, another administering ventilatory support, and another attaching a defibrillator, Gilad took the chance to speak with the woman to understand what had happened.


The woman explained that the young man was from Ukraine, and had arrived in Israel a mere five months ago. The two of them were in her apartment when he suddenly collapsed, she did not know what had caused it. After attempts to shake him awake, the woman called the dispatch center to send an ambulance.


After speaking to the woman, Gilad prepped himself to switch the EMT performing compressions, as he was getting tired. The defibrillator that was attached advised a shock, and a total of four shocks were given. Despite these efforts, the man’s pulse remained unstable and kept fading in and out.  As Gilad was performing chest compressions, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene.


After Gilad completed a few rounds of chest compressions, the man’s pulse was checked and appeared to be stable. The EMTs took the opportunity and placed him inside a mobile intensive care ambulance, preparing him for transport. Gilad was later told that the 20-year-old received continuous ventilatory support en route to the hospital, and had fully recovered in the hospital.


“After speaking to the woman and understanding the situation I suspected a possible overdose,” commented Gilad. “The woman refused to say what they were doing prior to his collapse, and so I had to just trust my instincts. When I realized that four shocks were given and his pulse was still unstable, I offered to take over in chest compressions. I truly believed that with the right efforts, the man could be saved, and thankfully he was.”


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