A North Texas congressman said his training and instincts as a doctor kicked in when he encountered an unconscious man at the U.S. Capitol complex, working with a colleague to resuscitate the man.
"I think you just know. I mean, you assess the situation. That is what you have always learned throughout your career," said U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-TX, who is an OB/GYN.
Burgess, from Denton, was on the third floor of the Rayburn House Office Building this week when he heard a commotion.
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U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-PA, who is a psychologist, went to get in the elevator when he found an unconscious man.
"He got him out of the elevator, initiated CPR. I came out when I heard all the commotion. His staff was running down to get the automatic external defibrillator, which was the right thing to do. And shortly after that, it got placed on the individual. A heart rate was returned, so Tim did chest compressions, and I helped his airway, and actually he started with some gasping respirations after that," Burgess said.
They found a pulse and kept the man's airway open. Paramedics arrived in about 10 minutes, but Burgess said it felt like much longer.
"You are worried because you don't know what else is going to happen," he added.
Capitol Police would only say the man, whose identity was not released, was breathing with a pulse when leaving with paramedics. Burgess, now back in North Texas, is hoping he is OK.
"I pray that this individual does OK. I pray for his family. He left there in pretty bad shape," said Burgess.
Burgess said something similar happened about 10 years ago, but there were no defibrillators at the Capitol at the time. The physicians in Congress worked to get the AEDs installed on the Capitol complex.