Posted on 09/28/2016
Tim Murphy

WASHINGTON, DC--Tim Murphy’s doctoral degree is in psychology, not physical medicine, but that didn’t stop the congressman from stepping in to help resuscitate an unresponsive man found in a Capitol Hill elevator Wednesday.

The Republican from Upper St. Clair was with aides waiting for an elevator near his office on the third floor of Rayburn Office Building late Wednesday afternoon. When the elevator doors opened they found a Capitol mail clerk unresponsive on the elevator floor. He had no pulse and he was bleeding from a head injury apparently caused when he collapsed, Mr. Murphy said.

The congressman and Legislative Assistant Darcy McLaughlin, both trained in first aid, began cardiopulmonary resuscitation while another aide called 911. Legislative Director Scott Dziengelski ran down to flights of stairs to alert Capitol police, then returned to get a defibrillator that he remembered was on the wall across from a nearby hearing room.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, who is a medical doctor, came upon the incident and began treating the man’s head wound, Mr. Murphy said.

“Everybody just jumped into action. It’s an intense scene and we’re just all doing the best we can,” Mr. Murphy said after.

Between the CPR and a Capitol police officer’s application of the defibrillator, the man began breathing, and the congressman detected a pulse.

Mr. Murphy said the man is in his 60s and is a “sweet gentle guy that delivers mail” to congressional offices. He had envelopes with him when he collapsed.

Press Secretary Carly Atchison, who saw part of the incident, said Mr. Murphy and his aides were shaken and praying for the man’s recovery.

“We don’t know his status right now. We’re just thankful that the man was transported to the hospital with a heart rate,” she said.

“There was no heroism by anybody, but somebody trying to do what they could in that situation. If anybody saved his life it’s going to be the doctors at the hospital, not Congressman Murphy. We were there and we did what we could,” Ms. Atchison said. “We want to know that the man is OK and that he’s made a full recovery.”

Mr. Murphy said his mother informally taught him CPR years ago. He was officially certified just a year ago in the Navy Reserve, where he is a commander in his seventh year as a psychologist at Walter Reed Medical Center.

He encouraged others to become certified in CPR.

“You never know in life when you’re going to face these situations,” Mr. Murphy said.

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SOURCE: Tracie Mauriello / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette