Monday, June 28, 2010

Runner dies after collapsing during marathon


KUALA LUMPUR: It proved to be two kilometres too far yesterday for Lim Ji Wei, 25, who collapsed during the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 and was later pronounced dead at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

He was declared to have died of a cardiac arrest.

Lim is said to have just returned from UK to take part in the 10km fun run, together with his sister and her boyfriend yesterday morning, aiming to get another finisher medal and certificate.

Having also taken part in last year's run, those who knew him were surprised when Lim difficulties breathing near Jalan Tun Razak about 2km from the finish line and stopped at the road pavement.

His sudden death was not the only thing to jolt the other walkers who claimed medics only arrived 20 minutes later.

One of the runners, Yit Ming, himself trained in Emergency First Response, who stopped by collapsed Lim said: "There were three City Hall personnel who were watching the incident." Yit Ming stopped together with another medical student and a doctor to help Lim by giving him CPR for about 20 minutes.

"I even asked one of other runners to get the medics as soon as possible." Yit Ming was disappointed at this slow response, telling the The Malay Mail the race guide stated there would be medics on standby every 4km. He claimed throughout his run, he spotted none.

"The runners guide said the response time for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was three minutes. If it's supposed so, why did it take them 20 minutes to arrive?"

"I saw him when he just collapsed all of a sudden. I rushed near him to see if I could help."

KL Marathon main sponsor Standard Chartered told The Malay Mail this morning that they were aware of the tragedy and have requested the event organisers Golazo Sdn Bhd for a report on the incident.

"For about 20 minutes, we tried to resurrect him while waiting for medics to arrive. The medical student was constantly checking his pulse while placing him in recovery position and started on CPR procedures."

When the medics arrived, Lim regained his pulse but was weak. He was then rushed to Hospital Kuala Lumpur together with the doctor who assisted him, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Yit Ming and the doctor who helped Lim were further shocked when they asked the medical staff of the ambulance if they had an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

"They told us they don't have it. When I asked them if they at least had a face mask with an air pump, they did not have it either."

Yit Ming said the organisers could have done a better job in taking proper safety measures for runners.

His sister and boyfriend, who had taken part in a longer distance run in the same event, became aware of Lim's difficulties only much later and rush to the hospital.

Lim's body was claimed by his family members.