Gov. Kitzhaber helps save woman's life

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by Cornelius Swart, KGW.com Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 11:52 AM

PORTLAND -- Oregon's governor performed CPR on an unconscious woman in downtown Portland Monday, providing her medical assistance and helping to keep her alive until paramedics could arrive.

Gov. John Kitzhaber was traveling by car through downtown Portland on his way to dinner around 5 p.m. when he noticed a woman on the ground with someone trying to help her. He ordered his driver to pull over near Southwest 13th Avenue and Main Street and instructed his security detail to call paramedics, the a spokesperson confirmed.

The woman was not breathing when Kitzhaber began to perform CPR. Paramedics arrived some minutes later and took over treatment of the patient, who may have overdosed on drugs. She was taken to the hospital and is expected to live, according to the governor's office.

Kitzhaber was not available for interview but his communications director told KGW Monday night, "The governor wishes her well and hopes that she seeks treatment in order to avoid the bad situation she was faced with today."

During a 2010 gubernatorial debate, Kitzhaber provided first aid for an audience member suffering an apparent seizure.

"I heard someone say, 'Is there a doctor in the house?'" Kitzhaber said after that episode. "I thought they were kidding and then I looked up and there was someone obviously in distress. And so the old ER reflex kicked in."

Background: Kitzhaber gives first aid during debate

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