On Wednesday, June 15, dozens of calls for medical help were made to Israel’s 101 emergency hotline in one hour. Of these, four were about men who suffered cardiac arrest and were resuscitated within minutes of each other. Each of them survived, thanks to fast and professional action by MDA and defibrillators.
All 101 operators are MDA EMTs or paramedics who provide instructions to the callers while first responders and ambulances are being dispatched. When needed, they also instruct the caller where to find the nearest defibrillator, installed in public places by MDA throughout Israel.
At 3:16 p.m., a 30-year-old truck driver in Haifa was saved by the MDA team who performed CPR and activated their defibrillator. He regained consciousness and was evacuated to Rambam Hospital.
Eleven minutes later, a 71-year-old construction worker collapsed while working in Nazareth. When the MDA team arrived, he had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. After resuscitation efforts that included electric shocks, he was taken to the local hospital and has since regained consciousness and is on his way to recovery.
When a 61-year-old man collapsed at a country club in Ramat Hasharon (north of Tel Aviv) at 3:46 p.m., the MDA operator instructed the caller where to find the defibrillator and how to use it. After further treatment from the MDA team that had arrived, he was evacuated to Meir Medical Center conscious and in stable condition.
At 4:04 p.m., a man in his 70s collapsed in his home in Holon (south of Tel Aviv). The MDA first responder used a defibrillator that revived him. After further treatment, he was evacuated by the MDA ambulance team to Wolfson Medical Center, fully conscious.
“Defibrillators save lives,” says MDA Director-General Eli Bin.
“Given the critical element of time, a casual bystander is the first link in the chain of saving lives. Thanks to only a few simple actions that include dialing Magen David Adom’s 101 hotline, performing cardiac massages, and using a defibrillator, lives can be saved even before an ambulance arrives,” he says.