A 50-year-old male runner was in critical condition in a hospital after he collapsed during the Hong Kong Marathon race on Sunday.
The man, who was among the thousands who participated in the annual event that is sponsored by Standard Chartered, collapsed about 6 kilometers from the starting line.
Apple Daily reports that he fell face down to the ground at the Island Eastern Corridor during the 10-kilometer race.
Although paramedics were soon called to the scene to help him, and one runner had even performed external cardiac massage for him, he is still battling for his life.
The man, who was said to have heart problems, was rushed to the intensive care unit of Ruttonjee Hospital before being transferred to Eastern Hospital, where he remained critical.
According to reports, he had been put in an ambulance not until at least 26 minutes after he collapsed on the road.
Dr. Axel Siu Yuet-chung, president of the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine, called the emergency response for the man not ideal, and said there is room for improvement in the systems and procedures.
Time factor is critical, especially when a patient has been unconscious or without a heartbeat, Siu said, noting that the death rate might increase 7 to 10 percent for each minute delay in treating a person who suffers fast and irregular heartbeats.
Dr. Duncan Ho Hung-kwong, a specialist in cardiology, suspects the runner might have suffered problematic blood circulation in the heart or even cerebral hemorrhage or stroke judging from the way he fell.
Kwan Kee, chairman of Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association, said it is possible that there were too many participants in the event and the running course at the Island Eastern Corridor was somewhat too narrow.
Data from the organizers show a total of 31 runners were hospitalized after the race.
While three of them, including the 50-year-old man, were in serious condition, the Hospital Authority announced at 4:30 pm Sunday that the other two turned better after treatment.
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