Oregon governor performs CPR on unconscious woman, helping save her life

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is being credited with helping save a woman's life after performing CPR on her, keeping her alive until paramedics could arrive.

Spokeswoman Nkenge Harmon Johnson said Kitzhaber was in a car driving through downtown Portland around 5 p.m. Monday when he saw “someone along the edge of the street who seemed to be attempting to resuscitate a woman" who was lying on the ground.

The 67-year-old governor ordered his driver to pull over and call 911. Kitzhaber determined the woman had no pulse and began performing CPR.

Portland Fire and Rescue Lt. Rich Chatman said the woman was breathing by the time an ambulance arrived. The unidentified woman was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive, Chatman said.

According to KGW-TV, authorities suspect the woman may have overdosed.

"The governor wishes her well and hopes that she seeks treatment in order to avoid the bad situation she was faced with today," Johnson said.

Kitzhaber, a Democrat, is now in his third term as governor. He served two terms from 1995 to 2003, and was elected again in 2010. He's seeking re-election for a fourth term in 2014.

It's not the first time Kitzhaber — a former emergency room doctor — has administered emergency first aid. During a 2010 gubernatorial debate, Kitzhaber came to the aid of an audience member who had suffered an apparent seizure.

"I heard someone say, 'Is there a doctor in the house?'" Kitzhaber said after the debate. "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."

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