• Photo of the continental divide blanketed in snow. NPS Photo by VIP Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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Cardiac Incident at Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: October 13, 2009
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

At 12:15 p.m. today, October 13, park dispatch received a cell phone call concerning a 72-year-old man who was suffering from a possible heart attack on the Dream Lake Trail in the Bear Lake area of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The patient was roughly 1 mile, at an elevation gain of 425 feet (9,900 feet), from the trailhead. A park ranger medic reached the patient at 12:54 p.m. Two other rangers reached the scene shortly after. An eight-person park litter team reached the patient at 1:25 p.m.

The patient was packaged in a wheeled litter and the team began bringing him down the trail at 1:45 p.m. He reached the trailhead at 2:40 p.m. At 2:49 p.m. he went in to cardiac arrest. Rangers and paramedics from Estes Park Medical Center provided resuscitation efforts. At 3:05 p.m. St. Anthony’s Lifeguard One flew the patient from the Bear Lake parking lot to Boulder Community Hospital.

The patient’s hometown is unknown. His name will not be released until family members are notified.

Follow Up:

After the man went in to cardiac arrest he was revived and was conscious when he left the park. He arrived at Boulder Community Hospital in approximately 12 minutes via Lifeguard One from St. Anthony's.

Did You Know?

a photo of gneiss (a metamorphic rock)

The oldest rocks in the park are metamorphic (biotite schist and gneiss) estimated at 1.7 billion years old, making them some of the oldest rocks within the National Park System.