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Sitting Up After A Fentanyl Overdose
Ra’anana native Yoni Sadon is a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and driving instructor. He is one of the most active EMTs in the city and is often seen running from one emergency to the next.
A few weeks ago, in the middle of the afternoon, a man had been drinking alcohol and using fentanyl with his girlfriend, when the 40-year-old woman had an adverse reaction to the substances and her heart suddenly stopped. Despite his altered state, the woman’s partner had the presence of mind to call for help and attempt CPR.
Yoni was nearby, mentoring EMT-in-training Danny Labander, when the pair of volunteers received an alert about the incident from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and command center. Sharing a momentary knowing glance, Yoni and Danny jumped into their United Hatzalah ambucar, turned on their lights and sirens, and raced towards the given address. Arriving only a few moments later, the first responders took over resuscitation efforts from the patient’s boyfriend, interspersing chest compressions with assisted ventilation. They attached a defibrillator which did not advise any shocks.
The pair continued performing CPR for more than 15 minutes with no visible change in the woman’s condition. They carried on CPR in order to maintain cardiac activity and administered high-flow oxygen to keep fresh oxygen in the woman’s system. Amid their efforts, just as the ambulance arrived, the woman suddenly opened her eyes and sat up. “I have never seen anything like this before,” Yoni exclaimed.
“Having a patient regain full consciousness and sit up like that after a cardiac arrest due to an overdose, was truly amazing,” Yoni later confided. “In all my years as an EMT, I’ve never seen anyone recover like that without pharmacological assistance.”
“We sat the woman down on the ambulance chair and explained to her what had happened. She said she didn’t remember any of it and felt weak but otherwise fine,” Yoni recounted. “She thanked us for saving her life and was then taken to the hospital for further observation.”
Yoni added, “This was truly an amazing thing to see. I’ve been in EMS for a good few years now and I was still shocked by what had happened. I am fairly certain that without the oxygen we provided and the early onset of CPR by her friend and our continued efforts that the situation would have ended differently. I am thankful that Danny and I were able to be there and help save this woman’s life.”
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