“This morning I had the privilege to save a life in mid-air. I was flying back to Israel from Newark this morning, and while I was sleeping someone alerted me to a person who was having a medical emergency a few rows in front of me. I jumped up from my seat and ran to where the person was seated. I saw a man who was about 65 years old, with convulsions, who had a cold sweat, was very pale and had a very high pulse rate. The man had difficulty speaking. I tried to communicate with him and was unable to do so. I asked the flight crew to bring me the airline medical bag and equipment. After a short check of his vital signs, even prior to obtaining the bag I was able to assess that the man was probably suffering from hypoglycemia. His lack of glucose was so severe that it appeared he would lose consciousness at any minute and possibly go into cardiac arrest.
I asked the flight crew to request a glucometer and glucose from the passengers. In the meantime I placed some honey and jam under the man’s gums. One passenger ran over with a glucometer that they had with them and after a quick check, we found that this man’s glucose level was at a critical 40. This was after a few minutes that we had been providing him with the sugary condiments. I initiated glucose treatments thanks to the helpful passenger, and after about 30 minutes the man began to return to consciousness. I took responsibility and told the flight manager that there was no need for an emergency landing. I stayed with the ill patient for two-and-a-half hours to continue giving him glucose and monitor his situation until he stabilized and came back to himself. Only after his sugar level stabilized at 120, and the man regained full consciousness, did I go back to my seat.
The El Al staff, especially the flight manager, were terrific and very helpful, as were a psychiatrist and neurologist from Ichilov who also helped in the beginning.
I have no doubt that I saved a life today. When he came to, the man told me that he was on his way from Detroit to Israel for his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. I am proud to be a United Hatzalah volunteer in the air and on land. After more than two hours of treatment and no sleep, I got off the flight in Israel with an incredible feeling of pride for all the other United Hatzalah volunteers who do things like this every day.” – Eli Beer, President and Founder of Hatzalah
A recommendation for the management to the board: make sure you accessorize your bags with quality equipment, including sugar and oxygen equipment, etc #hatzalah