Austrian tourist dies at Colosseum, lack of defibrillator

ROME - An Austrian man has died of a heart attack whilst on holiday near the Colosseum with his wife and daughter, raising questions why he was not treated with one of four defibrilators supposedly deployed for such emergencies, Il Messaggero newspaper reported Monday.

 The tourist lay on the ground for almost an hour, despite attempts to resuscitate him (emergency services were called). A tourist guide who was working at the time was a key witness:

 “After the first cardiac massage performed by military on site, a woman and an American doctor, who were also on holiday, intervened," Il messaggero quoted him saying. "He was the one who told me to look for a defibrillator urgently. But I wasn’t able to. If there had been one maybe he would have been saved. I searched desperately, but obviously there’s no obligation to have any in public spaced.”

 The guide asked metro workers, a bar, and finally the Colosseum. The people at the entrance said they did not have a defibrillator available. This is odd considering that on June 16 2016 the Archaeological Superintendent of Rome presented the four life-saving defibrillators allotted to the Colosseum. “The Colosseum is the first archaeological site in Italy to have access to heart-protecting equipment.”

 So what happened on Sunday? The fateful incident happened between 14:00 and 15:00 in the afternoon. The ambulance arrived after 15 minutes, but it was too late. The tourist guide commented “This kind of thing should never happen again in a place like the Colosseum, where at least 30,000 people go every day, in these kind of temperatures. This area should have defibrillators ready.”