BREAKING: During UO gubernatorial debate, "is there a doctor in the house?" (updated w/ video)

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Tonight, John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury were speaking at a debate sponsored by the University of Oregon College Democrats, attended by about 150 students. Live video of the debate was streamed online by the Bradbury campaign.

Midway through the debate, during a discussion about higher education, suddenly someone in the crowd called out, "Is there a doctor in the house?" Governor Kitzhaber, an emergency room doctor, jumped from the stage and ran into the crowd.

Kitzhaber-seizure

I spoke to Jeff Scroggin, the UO Dems president, about what happened.

Scroggin was near the older man, whom he described as a "regular at free college events", when he fell to the ground and started "frothing blood at the mouth, having a real bad seizure".

Dr. Kitzhaber "ran over, took his jacket off, and started giving him first aid" keeping his airways clear and helping him breathe. Paramedics arrived and took the man to the nearby hospital. As they were loading the man into an ambulance, a paramedic told the students that the man "going to be OK."

After a 21-minute interruption, the debate resumed. Bill Bradbury greeted Kitzhaber back to the stage with a thumbs up and applause. After the first post-interruption question (on prison reform), Bradbury said, "I just want to say that I think John has just shown he was in fact a remarkable emergency room doctor; able to give such a great answer after dealing with that [incident]."

Watch via the Bradbury2010 video stream. The debate is interrupted at 1:37 - and restarts again at 1:58.

I've heard that KEZI and a UO videographer were also on site. I'll post more video and info when it becomes available.

One more note about the debate, that Jeff Scroggin asked me to mention: The debate was entirely student-run and student-financed. It was called the Tony Kaminski Memorial Debate - in honor of last year's UO College Dems president, who died in January in a car accident, shortly after enlisting in the military.

As Scroggin noted, I'm sure Tony would have been proud of tonight's debate. Lots of students, good questions, and a little drama.

Update, 12:30 a.m.: David Steves at the Register-Guard covers the incident - as well as the substance of the debate. Read it here.

Update: 9:33 a.m.: There's coverage from Kaitlin Kelly at the Daily Emerald and an AP story.

Update: 1:45 p.m.: KGW has posted raw video of the first few seconds of Kitzhaber running into the audience.

Comments

  • matt w (unverified)
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    badass.

    nuff said...

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    Full disclosure: My firm built John Kitzhaber's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    Unbelievable. I am so glad the gentleman will be OK. Wow. It sounds like it was a really good thing Dr. Kitzhaber was there to give first aid.

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    As a student, when Kitzhaber was a state senator, I saw the same thing happen as then-Sen. Kitzhaber lept from his table in Clark Kent-like fashion at a Democratic Party dinner to give aid to a man who fell ill.

  • Moses Ross (unverified)
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    Let's not put him on a pedestal here. He is a doctor. Its what he's been trained to do. Any medically trained person at the event would have done the same thing. I saw the past chair of the Marion County Dems react the same way at a recent DPO SCC meeting when there was a medical emergency.

  • David (unverified)
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    Bradbury's a nice guy, but he'd be ineffective as governor; way too partisan and too far to the left. For moderate Democrats and independent voters, Kitzhaber is the only real choice. He's got my vote.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Any medically trained person at the event would have done the same thing."

    It takes an old person like me to recall that back in the 1970s (when long dresses were in vogue), a woman going down the stairs to the Rotunda (stairs that have no handrails) tripped on the hem of her dress and fell down the stairs. There literally was a state rep. who was a doctor, he helped the woman and as I recall, rode in the ambulance with her.

    These 2 men have known each other for a long time.

    It was a class act by Bradbury to say this:

    "Bill Bradbury greeted Kitzhaber back to the stage with a thumbs up and applause. After the first post-interruption question (on prison reform), Bradbury said, "I just want to say that I think John has just shown he was in fact a remarkable emergency room doctor; able to give such a great answer after dealing with that [incident]."

    I have been involved in campaigns where the candidates were old friends. On the best of those, the primary challengers were friends before, during, and after the campaign.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)
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    I appreciate Moses' attempt at downplaying Kitzhaber's actions. Wait--no, I don't appreciate it.

  • The Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    I'd be happy to have either man as Governor.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    If that had been me, I would have bit my tongue and quietly died, rather than give such a photo op.

    I would have more sympathy if he had used the opportunity to say, "good thing I was here. Which is a shame. Look around at how many bright people are here. Why don't we all know CPR?", and roll that right into an education segue. Not Brad's.

    BTW, listening now to the first ever British PM debate, streaming on bbc.co.uk?

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    Actually, I think Moses is exactly right. Dr. Kitzhaber reacted on instinct, doing exactly what his medical training taught him to do.

    I haven't talked to him, but I'm sure he'd be the first to say: "Just doing what had to be done", the way so many first responders do when they're lauded for their actions.

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    Bradbury's a nice guy, but he'd be ineffective as governor because when it comes to offering first aid to audience members, the Segway don't cut it, unless one is addressing head injuries sustained by Chris Dudley......

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    Kari's right. Medical professionals downplay their work all the time. I have family in the medical field. Don't get me wrong, it is amazing what they do everyday but they are the first to say "just doin' my job."

    It is as if humility is a requirement of the Hippocratic Oath.

  • Ryan McCarrel (unverified)
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    Many students knew the man who suffered the seizure, as he's a regular profile on campus and a former professor. I personally wanted to say thank you to Kitzhaber for acting so quickly to help him.

    I also wanted to ask people to consider donating to the Tony Kaminski Memorial Scholarship. Last night's debate, hosted by the College Democrats, was held in honor of his memory, as he died in a car crash a few months ago.

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    Ryan McCarrel,

    I was in student government myself (when dinosaur walked the Earth) and I just want to thank you for creating something so wonderful coming out of something so tragic. What a great way to honor the memory of Tony. Keep up the good work Ryan.

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    Rev. Currie got it right, he looks like Clark Kent getting ready to don the cape.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    Posted by: Jesse Cornett | Apr 15, 2010 12:54:50 PM

    Rev. Currie got it right, he looks like Clark Kent getting ready to don the cape.

    I may have to concede that point, but I won't that "green streets pay for bike paths".

  • Alisa Anderson (unverified)
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    "Posted by: Pat Ryan | Apr 15, 2010 9:17:01 AM

    Bradbury's a nice guy, but he'd be ineffective as governor because when it comes to offering first aid to audience members, the Segway don't cut it, unless one is addressing head injuries sustained by Chris Dudley......"

    Unless the guy needed more than CPR. I'm sure that Kitz would have pulled the battery out and rigged up some paddles and found a way. No doubt the Alley people would object to that as being his turf.

    And, as you say Dudley? Well...if some nasty urban youths were causing a disruption, he could take 'em on in a pick up game!

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