June 27, 2010

A Tragic Incident at Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 – Updated

Filed under: Events — yoga @ 7:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

Just woke up after coming home from the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 only to read about a 20+ year old who passed out and then died on the way to the hospital. I only recall passing by 2 water stations and one medical station at Federal Highway during my 10km run. My condolences to Lim’s family. I’m appalled that an ambulance doesn’t have the necessary equipment to save a life, are all ambulances like this or just this particular one in question ?

I also remember being at the finish line and waiting for my turn to get water/100 plus and an ambulance pleading with everyone to give way. To make things worst those at the water station were stuck and couldn’t move anywhere because there were runners coming by and the officials had to clear the path to ensure that the runners had a clear road. It was so packed and there were moments when I myself fell short of breath and had difficulty breathing, in fact I remember there being an announcement over the PA system at that exact moment asking for a medic as well !!

Update 01/07/2010

– Runner dies after collapsing during marathon (Malay Mail)

– Help arrived 5 mins after distress call (Malay Mail)

– Just found out that there’s a facebook group created for Lim Weiji plus here’s DBKL’s official statement on the whole matter.

Official statement from DBKL

Official statement from DBKL

Official statement from DBKL

Official statement from DBKL

Update 30/06/2010 – A Tragic Incident at Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 – Perspective of a St. John Volunteer

St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (“SJAM”), as one of the partners in the provision of medical assistance services during the recently concluded Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 regretted on the sudden passing of Mr. Lim Wei Ji during the event and would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family members of the late Mr. Lim.

We are aware that SJAM had earlier being misunderstood by some among the general public as being the party responsible in the delay in response to this sudden cardiac arrest (“SCA”) incident, and that the misunderstanding has caused some uneasiness, even amongst our high-spirited volunteers, as SJAM does not condone negligence in any form involving our volunteers.

Please allow me to share some thoughts and information on this matter, from the perspective of a first responder of SJAM in the Marathon, as well as a participant in our internal investigations.

A preliminary investigation was done almost immediately by 2 officers in-charge of SJAM Operations during the Marathon (while it was ongoing), and a full probe on this matter was called soon after we noted the circulation of a note titled “A Tragic Incident at Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010”, written by Mr. Toh Yit Ming on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=722972758&v=app_2347471856&ref=ts), which attracted wide attention amongst Malaysian users of the social networking website.

Our full probe, conducted by a team of officers headed by the Regional Superintendent (Operations) of SJAM Wilayah Persekutuan, includes interviewing our first responders on duty and Mr. Toh, besides collaborating the result from the interviews with photographic evidence tendered by a Marathon participant. From the full probe, we are certain that SJAM first responders were not involved in this SCA incident. We consider the earlier confusion (on SJAM’s involvement) as a pure misunderstanding, and we do not believe that the mistake was intentional. As the misunderstanding has already been clarified, SJAM sees no reason for the misunderstanding to be pursued further. Nevertheless, we are not simply stamping an NFA on our file, as we have a serious business to tackle – that is about the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the medical assistance service during the Marathon.

All 10 ambulances (each with a medical officer, a registered nurse and a first responder on board) provided for the Marathon by Jabatan Kesihatan Wilayah Persekutuan, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (“DBKL”), Civil Defence, Malaysian Red Crescent, and SJAM were deployed to the full marathon and half marathon routes in accordance with the instructions, alongside 69 SJAM first aiders located at 23 different locations along the routes and 1 SJAM first responder on motorcycle. To our best knowledge, teams of first aiders on pick-up trucks from another agency have been assigned to the 10KM and 5KM routes.

The efficiency of the medical assistance services during the Marathon was somewhat affected by the unexpected occasional breakdown in the radio communication system linking the various teams in the medical assistance services. Without forming any conclusion, the occasional breakdown might have caused the alleged delay in response to this SCA incident. To be fair to the agency in question and the ambulance who finally responded to this SCA incident, the location of this SCA incident did not fall within their area of coverage but those involved appears to have applied the necessary discretion to discharge all they could to deploy the nearest ambulance to the scene, albeit delayed. Another area which requires further research is the supposed mismatch in the attention given between the 2 longer routes and the 2 shorter routes.

Nevertheless, the concerns of Mr. Toh are definitely valid and we concur with some of his views contained in his note. The ability of the medical assistance team to deliver early resuscitation and defibrillation in the event of SCA is paramount; quick response, coupled with the availability of necessary pre-hospital care equipment is vital in the provision of medical assistance services. SJAM agree that the efficiency and effectiveness of the medical assistance services during the Marathon could be further improved at the 10KM and 5KM routes, and that the risk assessment for both the shorter routes require further thought to ensure such scenario does not repeat again. The results from our investigations will be shared with other agencies so as SJAM can press upon improvements of the overall medical assistance services in future events.

It is interesting to note that a basic Automated External Defibrillator (“AED”) costs no less than RM15,000 per unit. While it is expensive to procure, it is even more expensive to maintain, as the single-use AED pads costs no less than RM300 per set and such equipment are subjected to maintenance and recalibration at regular interval. Despite being a voluntary organisation which receives virtually no financial support/assistance from the Government, SJAM strives to equip its ambulances with all necessary pre-hospital care equipment, which include AED and Bag-Valve-Mask (“BVM”) – 2 items that was specifically mentioned in Mr. Toh’s note.

Despite the tragic incident, SJAM would like to take this opportunity to express our admiration to Mr. Toh and all others who share the St. John spirit and have lend their helping hand to the late Mr. Lim during the final moments. This goes to prove the importance of knowing first aid. SJAM constantly encourages all members of the public to pick up such skills, which has become a form of living skills of modern society, and has rigorously trained a number of interested individuals in such skills. As a first aid training provider, SJAM is ever willing to assist in training anyone to be proficient in basic first aid techniques.

Update 28/06/2010 – The event covered by The Star

Another tragic ending for a runner in our local running event …

I would like to share a tragic incident that happened at Standard Chartered KL Marathon today…
When i was running my final 2 km on the 10km… as i was running along the road in front of Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, i saw a guy was sitting on the road side then soon enough he collapsed…

this incident attracted my attention as a guy(a training doctor, named Irkhan) that was trying to help him was shouting for medic..
as i was a trained EFR, i ran over to see what is happening.. (it was around 1 hour into the race for 10km runners)

i got to know that the guy (named Lim) has collapsed and was having seizure.. we tried to place him in recovery position… he was breathing very heavily and shortly and he was also biting his teeth very very hard… i was afraid that he will hurt himself (with either biting his own tongue or he closed up his airway).. so i tried to open up his jaw and tried to communicate wif him to have him relax and breath easily.. he then slowed down his breathing and taking deeper breath…

another lady (lady A) came to help and constantly monitor on his pulse… and Dr. Visva (was another participant in the run) came over to help…

Then suddenly, his pulse was gone… then we lied him flat and started on CPR procedures… we constantly check on his pulse to check whether his pulse has come back.. we did chest compression and also mouth-to-mouth breathing to Lim…
as we were doing the CPR procedures, we did not sight medic anywhere.. and we tried to shout as loud as possible for medic…

After awhile into the CPR procedures, “lady A” said that she could feel his pulse but was very weak.. then we stopped the CPR procedures to see whether he regain consciousness or not…
After i stopped the chest compression on Lim, i started shouting for medic services again with the hope that a medic services is nearby and heard us.. but unfortunately not… we only sighted 3 DBKL Officers(with big motorcycles) just stood by the road side and just stare… the did not come over to help or to check out what happened… (it was around 10 minutes that Lim collapse and had seizure)…

after a moment, Lim loose his pulse again.. we started CPR procedures again.. we still did not sight an ambulance or any EMS(Emergency Medical Services) around… after approximately 30 compression, Lim regained his pulse but was very very weak.. and yet.. there was still no ambulance or EMS sighted… and DBKL officers still stood there and did not came over to help… so I informed a passer by to run to the officers to tell them to call for an EMS soonest possible…

after we performed CPR procedures on Lim for the the third time, finally a St. John ambulance came after around 15 – 20 minutes after Lim collapsed…

we let the EMS officers to take over the CPR and First Aid… Dr. Visva asked whether do they have the AED(Automated External Defibrillator)… one of the person from the EMS said that they do not have it.. then I asked whether do they have a face mask with pump.. they also did not have it there… THEY PRACTICALLY HAVE NOTHING IN THE AMBULANCE!!!!!!!! -.-”

EMS took him and speed their way to HKL…

we were later informed that the Response time for EMS is 3 minutes but it took them almost 20 minutes to arrive… and later.. as I was reading through the Runners Guide that was provided in our running kit…
There is a statement (at page 15) that states that “Medical Assistance – Medical Aid is available every 4km and at the Finish Area. Due to runner’s physical condition, Medical Officials are authorized to stop runners and remove their timing chip”…

every 4KM MY ROYAL ASS.. I did not see any first aider, ambulance or any sort of medical officials along my 10km route… and if 4km was true.. it definitely will not take them SO LONG to arrive…


I got a call from Dr. Visva a moment ago.. he went to HKL to check out the condition of Lim and he informed me that Lim have passed away on his arrival to the hospital… T__T

Lim is only into his 20’s and was running the 10KM distance…

P/s: please share this note to as many people as possible.. we will hope to create awareness on the inefficiency of EMS, DBKL officers and organiser of standard chartered KL Marathon 2010…

we also want to create an awareness that this kind of inefficiency have caused a life of a young man…
we will hope that the marathon organisers will take responsibility and make EMS a top priority in their planning

Source : http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=441962310357&id=722972758


  1. It’s sad for me as a m’sian.
    Another case of M’sia Bukan BOleh, but Bo-Doh!

    Comment by Phua — June 27, 2010 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

    • Phua yes indeed, it’s not the first time Standard Chartered has organised the KL Marathon and as a seasoned organiser I would have assumed they would have highly trained medic personal on site in case of emergencies.

      What’s more tragic is this is not the first marathon event to claim the life of runners !!

      Comment by yoga — June 28, 2010 @ 9:43 am | Reply

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