EMTs, bystanders save Boston Marathon runner

A runner who went into full cardiac arrest was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

By John R. Ellement
The Boston Globe

BOSTON — The drama of the Boston Marathon was interrupted for some spectators near the Kenmore Square area this afternoon when one of the runners suddenly collapsed to the street, in full cardiac arrest.

Some runners stopped in their tracks and turned to help the man while onlookers also rushed to the aid of the runner, who was described as a man in his 60s, according to Jennifer Mehigan, spokeswoman for Boston Emergency Medical Services.

"His heart was not beating,'' said Mehigan.

The civilians started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the runner, who collapsed near the intersections of Beacon and Mountfort streets around 1:30 p.m.

Seconds later, two paramedics, who were patrolling the Marathon route on bicycles, and the crew of an EMS ambulance parked 20 feet away, arrived and began escalating the intensity of the medical assistance.

"The patient did need to be resuscitated and defibrillated,'' Mehigan said. "He did wake up, regain consciousness.''

The man was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mehigan said, adding that the man was alert on the way to the hospital.

"It was excellent planning,'' she said, "and a lot of luck.''

Republished with permission from The Boston Globe.

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