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South African Cycling Coach saved from sudden death
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On August 19, South African Cycling Team Coach Leon Schepers collapsed in Beijing Laoshan Velodrome. His heart stopped beating for 30 minutes. A team of medical experts from a number of disciplines in the Chinese PLA General Hospital managed to save his life, and he is now in the hospital's intensive care unit.

48-year old Schepers was resting in the dressing room of the Laoshan Velodrome before the incident.

"He was eating watermelon when he collapsed," a health care volunteer based in the Chinese PLA General Hospital said. When physicians arrived at 11:48 in the morning, they found that he had vomited out the watermelon, and that his heartbeat and breathing had stopped. "They immediately applied cardiac massage, and half an hour later his heart started beating again."

Schepers was then transferred to the Chinese PLA General Hospital through the Olympic green channel for hospital treatment.

Director of the Medical Affairs Department Guo Yucheng said that experts from relevant departments immediately provided breathing support with oxygen, and carried out windpipe, X-ray, and other checks. Approximately 400ml of food and blood were pumped out of Schepers' stomach. After 3 hours emergency treatment he was out of danger.

Schepers remains in the Chinese PLA General Hospital's intensive care unit for further observation and care.

The doctor on duty there said that so far the patient's vital signs are stable, and the cause of the cardiac arrest is yet to be confirmed.

(China.org.cn by Hou Xiaoying, August 22, 2008)

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