Area woman dies from apparent heart attack

Restaurant patrons make effort to revive victim

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— An 84-year-old Steamboat Springs woman having lunch at a local restaurant died Wednesday afternoon after she went into cardiac arrest.

Maxine Labaree was pronounced dead at Yampa Valley Medical Center at about 2:13 p.m. after numerous attempts were made by emergency personnel to revive the woman.

Labaree died of apparent heart failure, said Deputy Routt County Coroner Dwight Murphy. At his point, an autopsy is pending, he said.

Steamboat Springs Ambulance responded to Village Inn about 1:50 p.m. after it received a 911 telephone call from the restaurant that Labaree was having trouble breathing.

Labaree, who has a history of heart trouble, was eating and then started choking on food, Murphy said.

Other customers at the restaurant came to the woman's aid while two ambulances were en route to the restaurant, which is in the 3100 block of Lincoln Avenue.

"Whatever food the woman had choked on, the bystanders were able to get out," said Mike Hirshman, who was one of four advanced life-support personnel to respond. "The bystanders gave it an extremely good shot. They did the best they could."

Hirshman and other emergency personnel took over for the bystanders who had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"When we got there, she had a faint pulse but was not breathing," Hirshman said. "Soon after that we lost it."

Emergency personnel attempted to revive the woman with drugs and a portable defibrillator, Hirshman said.

"We were not successful in changing anything," he said.

Emergency personnel continued to revive the woman on the way to the hospital, he said.

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