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Rep. Kuempel collapses at Capitol


The Texas House adjourned abruptly tonight after state Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin, was found collapsed in a Capitol elevator.

A House sergeant-at-arms, Jennifer Irby, said she had found Kuempel, 66, in an elevator about 10:30 p.m. Rep. John Zerwas, R-Fulshear, who is a doctor, attended to Kuempel.

As an ambulance waited outside the Capitol, lawmakers including House Speaker Joe Straus crowded around elevators just outside the Rotunda. Shortly before 11 p.m., a stretcher emerged from the elevator area, and Kuempel was taken to University Medical Center at Brackenridge, several representatives said. Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, then led lawmakers in a prayer.

Officials at Brackenridge Hospital did not release information about his condition early Wednesday morning.

Zerwas said that when he reached Kuempel, he was unresponsive, was not breathing and had no pulse. Zerwas said he oversaw CPR until EMS arrived. He said a defibrillator was used to shock Kuempel about eight times.

By the time Kuempel left for the hospital, he had a heart rhythm and a pulse, and though he was not breathing entirely on his own, he had “some spontaneous breathing,” Zerwas said. Zerwas said it could have been a heart attack but could not say for sure.

“I would be very cautiously optimistic,” said Zerwas, an anesthesiologist.

My very best wishes to Rep. Kuempel for a full and fast recovery.

UPDATE: Here’s an update on Rep. Kuempel’s condition.

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  1. […] and the Trib have more. Kuempel collapsed during the 2009 session and was resuscitated by Rep. John Zerwas, who is an anesthesiologist. There […]