United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs responded to an emergency involving a 60-year-old man who choked on a “Sufganiyah” – or traditional Hanukkah donut – in Yavneh, central Israel, the Hatzalah reported in a statement.
A Sufganiyah is a jelly doughnut traditionally eaten on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried in oil, usually filled with jam, and topped with powdered sugar.
"When I arrived at the scene, the people who called for help were still on the phone with United Hatzalah's Dispatch and Command Center and the dispatcher was instructing the person on the phone how to help the man after he had choked on the sufganiyah,” Chaim Fried, the United Hatzalah volunteer who arrived first at the scene, said.
Hatzalah is a volunteer emergency medical service organization founded in Williamsburg, New York in 1965. The Hatzalah, comprised of local independent branches working under the Hatzalah name, primarily serves areas with Jewish communities around the world, such as around Israel and New York – the largest population center for Jews around the world outside of Israel.
"Every year on Hanukkah our volunteers respond to medical emergencies involving people who choke on sufganiyot,” Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah said in response to the incident.“It is important to take care when feeding young children or older people sufganiyot, as these segments of the population have a higher risk of choking while eating and trying to swallow spongy foods such as sufganiyot."