(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The presence and quick use of an automatic defibrillator at the water park in Reut saved the life of a man in his 60s who suffered a heart attack last week. Omer Hess, a medic in the park, along with Magen David Adom paramedic Dr. Eli Yaffe, used the device to restart his heart when he was in the changing room after engaging in physical activity.
“I was at the clinic right next to the locker room when people came and called me to take care of a man who had collapsed,” said Hess. “I immediately took the resuscitation bag and the defibrillator in the water park and ran to the place. We performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that included electric shocks and heart massages until we felt his pulse. When he regained consciousness and started talking to me, it was the happiest moment of my life.”
Dr. Eli Yaffe was training at the water park’s gym. “When I was on the treadmill, I received an alert in the MDA app for a case of cardiac arrest in the area where I was located. I ran to the spot and saw Omer start cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Giving cardiac massages, electric shocks and medication increase the chances of a person in cardiac arrest of surviving the event without brain damage,” he said.
MDA’s mobile intensive care unit arrived at the scene, continued with the medical treatment, contacted a hospital cardiologist, sent in an electrocardiogram chart, and after coordination, evacuated the patient directly to the catheterization room when he was fully conscious.
Although a law requiring the installation of defibrillators in public places was passed eight years ago, many facilities still lack the devices.
The 2009 law requires all public places with at least 500 customers or visitors daily to purchase and install automatic defibrillators.
The law established joint responsibility for implementation, with the Health Ministry preparing regulations dealing with the medical aspects and the Economy Ministry dealing with the technical aspects determining which public spaces had to purchase them, training staffers to use them at each workplace, deciding where on the premises to install them and taking care of supervision and enforcement.
While there was some coordination between the ministries, the division of responsibility resulted in red tape that has delayed the installation of the devices