Doctor saves collapsed runner’s life at NYC half marathon

Doctor saves collapsed runner's life at NYC half marathon (Image 1)

An Oregon doctor helped save the life of a fellow runner moments after finishing New York City's annual half marathon Sunday.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Dean Laochamroonvorapongse, who goes by Dr. Lao, said shortly after finishing the half marathon in just over one hour and 48 minutes, he saw a man who had collapsed near the finish line.

“I took maybe two breaths and saw this man lying on the floor, and then I just ran over,” Dr. Lao told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV. “I had to do it, he was unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing so if he was unattended for a few minutes that would have been very grave.”

Dr. Lao helped open the 43-year-old runner's airway as emergency personnel shocked his heart.

“[He had] no pulse, unconscious, not breathing is technically dead,” Dr. Lao said. “When you see someone down on the ground like that, especially anesthesiologists and other physicians, we get this rush of adrenaline. You just have to step in and help.”

The collapsed runner was transported to an area hospital for treatment. It is unclear what caused him to collapse at the end of the race.

Dr. Lao said he was told earlier this week the man was last listed in stable condition.

*ABC News and KATU-TV contributed to this report.

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