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U.S., Soviet Doctors Assist Heart Attack Victim : 2 Peace Prize Winners Help Save a Life in Oslo

December 10, 1985|From Times Wire Services

OSLO — The two Soviet and American cardiologists who are to be presented the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize here today helped save the life of a Soviet journalist Monday after he collapsed of a heart attack at a tumultuous news conference.

Drs. Yevgeny I. Chazov of the Soviet Union and Bernard Lown of Cambridge, Mass., co-chairmen of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, rushed to help television journalist Lev Novikov after he fell from his chair.

"Emergency, Emergency!" shouted Chazov, 56, the head of the Soviet Cardiological Institute and a deputy Soviet health minister, as he administered heart massage to the ashen-faced Novikov, who is in his 60s and has a history of heart problems.

Dr. James Muller of the Harvard Medical School, one of dozens of doctors present, gave the victim mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Paramedics then arrived and shocked Novikov with a defibrillator.

"Chazov kept the heart going by chest compression, but Novikov was dead for a while, . . . his heart stopped beating," Muller said.

"We shocked him but it didn't help," Muller said. "Nobody knew he had a pulse. Everybody thought he was dead, including the emergency crew."

As Novikov was carried off, Chazov and Lown said they believed he had died of a heart attack. But Dr. Erik Myhre of the National Hospital here said later that the victim's condition was stable.

"Luckily, skilled people were present and the speedy help probably saved Novikov's life," Myhre said, cautioning that "it is too early to say if he will make it."

After the dramatic episode, Lown, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said with tears in his eyes and a cracking voice: "When a crisis comes, Soviets and Americans cooperate. We do not care if it is a Russian or an American."

Novikov collapsed during questions by Western reporters on a controversy about the choice of Chazov, a member of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee, as co-recipient of the prestigious prize.

Chazov and Lown will collect the $235,000 award today in their capacity as chairmen of the Boston-based doctors' group, which was founded five years ago in Geneva by U.S. and Soviet doctors and has 135,000 members in 41 nations.

Since the announcement of the Peace Prize in October, much attention has been focused on Chazov amid accusations that the anti-nuclear group is used by the Soviet Union as a propaganda tool.

Chazov, the personal physician of three Soviet presidents, dodged questions Monday about his part in denunciations, in 1973, of Soviet dissident physicist Andrei D. Sakharov, who won the 1975 Peace Prize.

"I did not expect questions on this subject. I am not here as a private person, but as a representative of doctors against nuclear war," Chazov said.

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