On Monday afternoon on Yefe Nof Street in Tiberias, a woman in her 50s began to feel unwell and called her son to tell him that he should call for help. The son, who did not live at home any longer, called emergency services but in his haste to rush over to the apartment himself, had given an incomplete address. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center received the alert and notified the closest responders to the incident.
Yaeir Nachum a veteran EMT was taking care of some household 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 couldn’t find the address, which had been given incorrectly. With his highly visible ambucycle outside and climbing up and downstairs inside buildings trying to find the correct apartment, Yaeir began to draw the notice of neighbors in the area who offered to help find the correct address. It took about 10 minutes but finally, with the help of some neighbors, Yaeir 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 a case of VF. Before we could even lie her down for compressions she received a shock from the cardiac monitor and she came back to full consciousness.”
Yaeir continued to recount the occurrence. “We put her on the 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 came back to consciousness. This is the third time that a patient of mine came back to consciousness without having had compressions performed. 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 arrived. Once they loaded her onto the ambulance she was taken to the hospital for further care.
“I have done a number of CPRs in the past few days, but this one was difficult simply because we couldn’t find the right house. Information such as an exact address is of vital importance to first responders as it helps cut down our response time, and that can save lives. I’m thankful that we were able to save this woman today.”