Tennis (illustration)
Tennis (illustration) iStock

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 tennis court as well ran over to help, bringing a defibrillator that was available on-sight along with him. As he started to perform CPR, another passerby called emergency services for help.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Moshe Mizrachi was on his way back from work and was passing by Rehovot at the time of the sudden cardiac arrest. He was alerted by dispatch that an emergency was occurring nearby, so he immediately changed his course and sped over to the center.

Doctor Emmanuel Sira was also driving home from work but instead headed directly to the scene to help at the emergency.

Emmanuel arrived at the scene alongside Moshe Mizrachi within 3 minutes of receiving the call. Together they pinpointed the exact location of the unconscious man, where a group of passersby had started to gather around the fellow. They rushed into the middle of the commotion and took over for the doctor performing CPR.

As Dr. Sira switched out the defibrillator with a more advanced heart monitor, the doctor caught him up with what had happened. He said that as soon as he saw the commotion he ran over and started the emergency protocol. He had administered two shocks from the defibrillator before the United Hatzalah volunteers had even 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 the team from the ambulance continued the resuscitative procedures and after-treatment alongside Dr. Sira and Moshe, and the 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 G-d. He returned to full consciousness soon after and even started to joke around with the doctors. I am 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 added. “As volunteers, we are often not at the exact scene of the emergency, but someone is often nearby. Our goal is to arrive quickly in order to initiate treatment quickly and thus 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 chances of success.”

Emmanuel 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.”