A 61-year-old man suffering from heart disease drove himself to Portland Adventist Medical Center but crashed into a pillar in the parking garage just after midnight. A bystander flagged down a Portland officer who was in the area investigating an unrelated traffic crash.
The officer found the motorist in the hospital’s parking lot unconscious and unresponsive, and began CPR on him.
Another officer ran into the hospital’s emergency room to summon medical help. But he was told to call an ambulance.
“He was told by hospital staff that their policy is not to respond to emergencies in their parking lot. They needed to call for an ambulance,” said Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland police spokesman.
The officers were stunned.
“It’s certainly very frustrating for the officers who are not medical professionals in a hospital parking lot, to be told they have to call for an ambulance to help this man. The officers didn’t stand there and argue, they continued CPR,” Simpson said. “But they were in disbelief.”
Police were flagged down to the incident at 12:47 a.m. today.
A minute later, dispatch said an ambulance was in route. The ambulance arrived at 12:53 a.m., six minutes after police were first flagged down.
At 12:56 a.m., the man was loaded onto an ambulance gurney and wheeled into the hospital’s emergency room.
The man, identified as Birgilio Marin-Fuentes, died of natural causes due to heart disease, according to the state medical examiner’s office.