Thursday 24 January 2013

A Miracle on Race Day

Usually, when you read the term 'miracle' in one of my posts, it's natural to think that I am talking about one more inspiring run by one more person, under extreme circumstances.  Many of these inspiring runs did take place on Sunday, 20th January, during the tenth running of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, but on that day something much more miraculous took place- a runner survived a cardiac arrest!

At around 8:15 am, I was running alongside the venerable Fauja Singh as medical support (and I mean RUNNING, not jogging or walking), when I got the dreaded call on my walkie talkie.  A runner had been 'picked up' around Babulnath mandir, and was in cardiac arrest.  In all my time as the Race Medical Director, these are the words that haunt me the most.  In simple language, a cardiac arrest is a 'death rhythm' and unless the person gets advanced medical care very very quickly, there are very few chances of survival.  Thanks to the very quick reaction time of our ambulance doctor, who started CPR on the spot, the runner reached Jaslok Hospital alive.  By the time he reached, he had already received advanced CPR, a tube was put down his throat to his lungs, and he was give intravenous emergency medication.  At the hospital another of our doctors received him and along with the Jaslok team, continued with the emergency medical care.  I was at the hospital, and must give credit to all for working in perfect unison.  In no time the on-call cardiologist arrived and the runner was taken up for an emergency angiography.  He made it through the procedure and was then shifted to the ICU for observation and treatment.

Medical Base Camp
As of this morning (thursday) he was fine and in complete recovery mode.  It is very rare to rescue a cardiac arrest, especially in the middle of a crowded event, and for that I am grateful to the Asian Heart Institute medical team and God.....I am sure the deity of Babulnath mandir was watching over us all that morning.


  1. I would like to know what happened to the cardiac arrest patient during SCMM. Of course he survived, but what was the result of his angiography? Did he have any blockages? If so how big? How much was his running activity and did he feel any symptoms during his training or earlier runs? These points will help us runners read our own body feedback and symptoms.

  2. The results of his angiography (which was done within an hour of his arrest), showed blockages, which required bypass surgery. To be honest, out of respect of not intruding I have not called him up again to find out what future course of action he took.

  3. But it's equally important to answer the questions raised by our friend to instil confidence in the minds of running community and to take necessary precaution.
    Regards. Srinath

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