An Open Letter From a Paramedic Following the Resuscitation of an Infant on Monday

As we get closer to Rosh Hashanah, it is important to recall how precious life really is, and how little is actually in our control. With faith, caring for others, and a continued effort to help whenever and wherever we can, we can infuse each moment of our lives with meaning.

This story is one of many such stories that encourage us and inspire us to gather our emotional reserves and strength to find the answers that will enable us to continue to work and develop technology that will help us save more and more lives.

Oren Keinar, a volunteer paramedic with United Hatzalah and a member of the medical council of the organization, wrote the following letter on Monday after he participated in a resuscitation attempt on an infant.

A Besmed ambu BVM resuscitator for childrens pictured together with an oxygen tank used in resuscitation incidents.
A Besmed ambu BVM resuscitator for childrens pictured together with an oxygen tank used in resuscitation incidents.

“Today I used the Ambu BVM resuscitator for infants. In every paramedic kit there is a small bag, which holds the device that is used in resuscitating infants who are in respiratory distress. There is always the prayer and the hope that it will stay there, in that plastic bag, unopened and unused.

Today we received the call: “Modi’in chapter, resuscitation incident, infant three days old.”

We drop everything. We race to the address listed. I say to myself, “It is most certainly a hysterical new mother.”

The first volunteer, paramedic Shai Kunitz, arrives in under two minutes and reports that he has begun resuscitation. At this point, my heart sinks. I begin to recite in my head the proper procedural steps for the resuscitation and the proper medications to give.

I arrive at the address, I grab all of my gear and I head inside. On the kitchen table lies a small perfect angel, calm and serene, who is undergoing CPR. Autopilot takes over.

I begin providing respiratory assistance, advanced stages of CPR, everything goes flawlessly. More and more volunteers arrive. Each one is silent, working in silence while crying on the inside, their pain etched into their faces.

I had an Ambu BVM resuscitator for infants. It was new. Now it is used.

We all pray for a miracle. All of the hearts, from everyone who was there, and everyone in the organization, go out to the child and their family, and we are crying with them.”

About the Author
Raphael Poch is a Canadian-Israeli playwright, producer, director, actor and journalist. He is the International Media Spokesperson for United Hatzalah and runs the First City Improv Troupe.
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