On Monday afternoon on Yefe Nof Street in Tevaria, a woman in her 50s was feeling unwell and called her son to tell him he should call for help. Her son called emergency services but in his haste gave an incomplete address. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center received the alert and notified the closest responders to the incident—as best they could.
Veteran EMT Yaeir Nachum was taking care of some chores at home when his emergency phone began to vibrate alerting him to the medical emergency taking place nearby. He dropped what he was doing, rushed out to his ambucycle, and sped to the street. But he couldn’t find the address. He parked his highly visible ambucycle outside and started climbing up and down the stairs of nearby buildings trying to find the correct apartment, and began to draw the attention of neighbors in the area who offered to help. It took about 10 minutes but Yaeir finally found the correct building and apartment just as an ambulance was pulling up.
The woman was looking very pale, had a light cold sweat on her brow, and was taking short and shallow breaths. “The first thing I did was give the woman Aspirin to chew,” said Yaeir. “Then I told the paramedic who had arrived that this woman was undergoing a case of ventricular fibrillation (VF) – even without connecting the cardiac monitor I could tell. He went ahead and connected the monitor and it indeed showed that she was undergoing VF. Before we could even put her down for compressions she received a shock from the cardiac monitor and regained full consciousness.”
Yaeir continued: “We put her on the gurney chair and started heading down the stairs to the street and she suffered VF again. This happened two or three times and each time she received a shock and regained consciousness. This was the third time that a patient of mine regained consciousness without compressions. It was a good thing we arrived when we did, otherwise, the situation would have been much worse. Our intervention prevented possible decay of her brain and heart and that could have resulted in irreversible damage.”
The team navigated the narrow staircase and street and brought the woman to the mobile intensive care ambulance that had arrived. Once they loaded her onto the ambulance she was taken to the hospital for further care.
“I have done several CPRs in the past few days, but this one was difficult simply because we couldn’t find the right house. Information such as the exact address is vital to first responders, it helps cut down our response time, and that can save lives. I’m thankful that we were able to save this woman today.”