Congressman Phil Roe performs CPR on man at airport

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2011 7:43 PM
Congressman Phil Roe performs CPR on man at airport

By Colleen Jenkins

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Representative Phil Roe retired from his medical career to go to Congress, but on Tuesday he put his doctor skills to use to help save a man's life at a Charlotte, North Carolina airport.

The Tennessee Republican said he was drinking a cup of coffee and chatting with Representative Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport when he heard someone shouting for a doctor.

Roe ran over to a man lying on the floor.

"I couldn't feel a pulse," Roe told Reuters by telephone from Washington. "It looked like he was taking his last breaths."

Roe and another woman performed CPR, taking turns doing chest compressions on the man. The congressman said paramedics arrived within minutes and restarted the man's heart using an external defibrillator device.

The man was taken to a hospital, and a police officer called Roe later in Washington to report that it looked like the man was going to be okay.

Roe, who practiced as an obstetrician for 31 years, said the incident put things into perspective.

"I said a little prayer for that man and his family today," he said. "It just sort of focused me again that you don't get too worked up about what's going on."

(Editing by Greg McCune)