Monday, June 28, 2010

DEATH AT THE STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON

I was told that a young Mr Lim, collapsed while participating at the KL marathon yesterday afternoon.
My condolences to Mr Lim's family for his untimely death. I only hope that it will serve as a reminder to participants and organisers that these things can happen and that we should take due precaution. I do not think that anyone should blame StanChart for what happened, but some may blame them for having not been more prepared for what happened ( if what is written in the press is true ).
What happened? Well, it is well known that marathon running has a health risk and should not be taken on casually without preparation, on an adhoc basis. Death in marathon running is often quoted at 1:50,000 or 1: 60,000. It happens. More so when the participants are casual, ill prepared marathon runners who take part without any preparation.
The problem in the young is usually undected cardiac disease. The off-quoted phrase " Oh you should take part. You look so fit and healthy ", is no guarantee that you are healthy. From what the fellow runners observed and I quote "Earlier, software engineer Toh Yit Ming, 26, said he was running his final lap on the 10km run when he saw a participant, whom he only knew as “Lim”, sitting on the roadside in front of City Hall before collapsing.
He was having a seizure. A few runners tried to put him in a recovery position,” he said in a telephone interview, adding that he had told Lim to relax and breathe deeply as he was short of breath and clenching his teeth. Unquote. This description sounded very much like an episode of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation ( or a terminal rhythm ). At that time, Mr Lim's heart had stoipped and beating chaotically. The most common cause of this happening is pre-existing heart disease like a cardiomyopathy, usually of the hypertrophic variety. It simply means that the heart muscle is unusually thick and that the heart muscle cannot receive enough blood supply because of the unusually thick muscle ( demand outstrips supply ), resulting in inadequate blood flow, and fatality. Of course this disease is not common. There is a small possibility that he could have occlut coronary artery disease, and had a heart attack while running. The USA experience seem to point to the fact that sudden cardiac seizures in trained athlete, is usually due to heart muscle disease. I understand that a post-morten had been carried out and so we will know the exact diagnosis.
What can be done? As usual, we would encourage all participants to have a checkup, before they embark on something like marathon running. It would be better if those who wish to take part in a marathon, train and built up their stamina. Train and try it out first, before this heavy duty activity is taken on. Regular exercise should be a pre-requisit for participation. Join a club. Join a gym.. Prepare and train. If you have heart disease or a family history of collapses or heart disease, be certified fit before taking part.
As for the organisers, be prepared. If you have declared that there will be help provided every 4 kilometers, then lets do it. A well established bank, branded on reliability, honesty and security, we expect better performance ( again, I am not accusing but relying on press accounts ). We expect better from StanChart.
Of course, the ambulance service in this country, needs much improvement. Most of the ambulance service in the Klang Valley is 3rd party, private owned. The HKL and UMMC services are inadequate for the city's needs. Sometimes they are also being misused. Maybe, this would also lead to a wake up call to the city healthcare providers to improve. What I am afraid of is adhoc upgrading, wasting money and resources and not improving services.
All Mr Lim needed at that time was an electric shock to the heart as he was having the seizure. That would have revived the heart, even without CPR. However, there were no defib. machines around and so the good doctor and fellow participants carried out CPR ( A big thank you to them ). This time they failed, but their attempts and civic consciouness should be appreciated. Nexttime they may succeed.
Again, my condolences to Mr Lim's family and loved ones.
It serves as a lesson for us all.

3 comments:

蔣筱芸 said...

欣賞是一種美德~回應是最大的支持^^.................................................................                           

ym said...

hey there.. thanx for sharing this to every reader of yours...

yeh.. what Mr. Lim needed was a AED or defib that you mentioned.. with that.. we could actually have a better chance of bringing him back...

but unfortunately.. medical help was very late and they do not have the equipments...

i feel so much sadden by this incident.. i will continue to create awareness of the importance of First Aid help and encourage people to get educated in it

江婷 said...

如此動感的blog!!!.................................................................