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Off-duty ER doctors save man's life after he collapses at Denver sandwich shop

Doctors swing into action, then go back to lunch
Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 13:06:45-05

DENVER (KMGH) -- You could call it the very definition of the old expression of being in "the right place at the right time" when several emergency room doctors saved a man's life at a Denver sandwich shop.

The doctors happened to be in town for a conference of ER doctors. They were on a lunch break Monday afternoon at Snarf's on Champa when the man walked in and collapsed.

"He went into cardiac arrest. His heart stopped beating, stopped pumping blood," said Dr. David Levy. 

Levy was alongside several of his former residents and a pair of emergency physicians from New Jersey, who all jumped into action.

"We did chest compressions. We shocked him with the [defibrillator]," he explained.

The man was without a pulse three separate times, but the team was able to revive it in time for medics to arrive and transport him to the hospital.

"Everyone expects this to happen in a hospital in a controlled environment, but when you’re there, and it happens on the floor of a restaurant it takes you by surprise," Levy said. "He would have died if no one was there to intervene."

As of Monday night, the man had survived the ordeal and was being treated in the intensive care unit.

And what did this group of hero doctors do next?

"We washed our hands, sat down, and finished our lunch," Levy said.

Levy would go on to win three separate awards that night as part of the convention, the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians.