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Monday, February 7, 2011

This is really disgusting.

A participant in the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon died near the finish line on Sunday.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the initial response was confused and slow, bystanders and race participants became involved, and the paramedics took twenty minutes to get there.

Witnesses were quoted as saying, "When the runner collapsed, someone pointed it out to the announcer at the finish line, who called over the loudspeaker for medical staff, witnesses said. But it took repeated calls before any staff arrived, and ultimately runners and spectators began performing CPR, witnesses said."

"Finally a woman came up and started yelling at (the announcer), 'You need to start pleading for anyone to help. We need a doctor,' "

This was not a small race: there were 10,000 participants.

The article focuses on the failure of an ambulance to be at the finish line on a timely basis, but the phrase that turns my stomach is "ultimately runners and spectators began performing CPR." With that large a crowd, it's hard to believe that someone wasn't immediately pumping on that runner's chest. Evidently San Francisco is no Seattle.

The complete story is at: