On Tuesday at 4:30 PM this week, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Menachem Slovatizky was returning in his ambulance from an unsuccessful CPR attempt when he was alerted to another medical emergency. A woman, 80, living in a nursing home in Bnei Brak, had begun choking. While the staff was calling United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center, the woman lost her pulse and became unconscious. Slovatizky rushed over in his ambulance.
He arrived in under two minutes, as did United Hatzalah volunteer Dr. Daniel Barsky. They located the woman and launched into full-blown CPR. Slovatizky administered chest compressions and assisted breathing while Dr. Barsky injected dopamine to stabilize her blood pressure.
After 20 minutes, the woman’s pulse returned but was unstable, fading in and out. The team of volunteers worked tirelessly to stabilize the woman’s condition. After a full hour of CPR, the woman’s pulse stabilized, and she began to regain consciousness. She was then moved to Slovatizky’s ambulance and transported to the nearest hospital.
After dropping the elderly woman off, Slovatizky was alerted to yet another CPR incident. Without a chance to pause and rest, he sped over to the new address to save another life.
“Three CPRs in one day is not unusual for me,” said Slovatizky. “I am a full-time volunteer, which means I eat, sleep, and breathe emergency medicine, and that comes with a lot of CPRs and responding to a wide range of medical emergencies. It’s become a part of who I am. Emergency medicine has become not only the life I know but the life my family experiences, too.”
He then noted: “Sometimes when a CPR is unsuccessful, a responder can become less hopeful about the chances of saving the next patient. But the more emergencies involving CPR that a first responder assists at, the more successful CPRs they experience, and the successful ones balance out the failed ones. That’s what being a volunteer is all about, enduring the bad experiences and learning to grow from them so that we can do better in the next one.”