Photo Credit: Edi Hargett
Tennis court (archive).

On Sunday night, a 52-year-old man was playing a heated game of tennis in a recreation center in Rehovot when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. As soon as the man fell to the ground, a physician who happened to be playing on the same tennis court ran over to help, bringing along a defibrillator that was available on-site. As he started to perform CPR, another man called emergency services for help.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Moshe Mizrachi was on his way back from work and driving by Rehovot at the time of the cardiac arrest. He was alerted by dispatch and immediately changed his course and sped over to the rec center.

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Doctor Emmanuel Sira was also driving home from work and instead headed to the scene to help with the emergency.

Emmanuel and Moshe arrived within 3 minutes of receiving the alert. Together they found the group of locals who had gathered around the unconscious man. The two rushed into the middle of the commotion and took over from the doctor who was performing CPR.

While Dr. Sira was replacing the defibrillator with a more advanced heart monitor, the first doctor caught him up on what had happened. He had administered two shocks from the defibrillator before the United Hatzalah volunteers had arrived.

The CPR lasted 10 minutes, with 5 shocks administered in total. After Dr. Sira and Moshe had restored the patient’s pulse, the intensive care ambulance arrived and its team continued the resuscitative procedures and after-treatment alongside Dr. Sira and Moshe, and other medical personnel who had joined in the efforts.

The patient was transported to the emergency room in stable condition. Afterward, Moshe checked in on the patient and provided feedback on his condition: “The patient underwent a heart catheterization which went well, thank God. He returned to full consciousness soon after and even started to joke with his doctors. I was pleased to see his improvement and hope that he gets back out onto the tennis court soon.”

“The most important thing in any CPR case is immediate resuscitative efforts with CPR,” Dr. Sira said. “As volunteers, we are often not at the exact scene of the emergency, but someone is often nearby. Our goal is to arrive quickly to initiate treatment quickly and raise the chance of survival. The fact that the physician had started CPR immediately, along with the advanced defibrillator that I brought with me, gave us the best chance of success.”

He continued, “Performing CPR on patients who are sick or elderly, to begin with, is very different from performing resuscitation on a person who collapsed unexpectedly. It takes it to a whole nother level.”

Moshe added, “The feeling I get when I help save a life is amazing. Whenever I participate in a successful CPR it makes me want to keep going and save more lives.”

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