Two weeks ago, at 7:00 PM on Tuesday night, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Eli Koon was in his home in Kibbutz Eilot, located a few minutes away from Eilat, when he received an emergency alert to a suspected stroke on his Kibbutz. Eli, who was just 200 meters away from the location, jumped on his ambucycle and sped to the given address, arriving first on the scene in 90 seconds.

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United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs on ambucycles in the Negev (Illustration)

A 64-year-old woman who hadn’t been feeling well all day had collapsed in her home. She had been on the way to her bed to lie down and rest. The woman’s alarmed husband called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center for help. Upon his arrival, Eli found the woman who was fully conscious but feeling very ill. Eli performed a quick neurological assessment and checked her vital signs. There was no apparent indication of a cerebrovascular accident or stroke. 

An ambulance crew arrived just a few minutes after Eli, and it was decided to transport the woman to the hospital. Eli assisted in getting her into the emergency vehicle and was about to go home on his ambucycle when the ambulance suddenly stopped. The driver jumped out of the front and rushed to Eli, the woman had just fainted. 

Hopping into the back of the ambulance, Eli and the ambulance driver quickly discovered that the woman had just suffered a cardiac arrest and was pulseless. Eli instantly launched into CPR and began chest compressions. The ambulance driver attached a defibrillator and called for an intensive care unit to the scene. 

The team kept oxygenated blood circulating to the woman’s vital organs for almost 25 minutes until they succeeded in regaining a steady pulse. After the woman’s pulse had returned, the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene. With the woman safely on the way to the hospital for emergency catheterization, Eli was finally able to return home.

“The ambulance driver and I initiated CPR just a few seconds after the woman lost consciousness,” recounted Eli. “Because we were able to intervene so quickly, the chances are high that she will recover without brain damage. In cases of cardiac arrest, time is the most critical factor and thankfully, she received high-quality medical  intervention in the most crucial minutes.” 


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