Emergency Room Doctor Who Tried to Save George Floyd Testified to Cause of Death

The emergency room doctor, who tried to resuscitate George Floyd and later declared him dead, testified on April 5 that Floyd most likely died of asphyxiation or loss of oxygen.

Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld told the court that Floyd was in cardiac arrest and did not have a heartbeat “sufficient to sustain life” when he arrived at the Hennepin County Medical Center last May.

Langenfeld said he saw extremely high levels of carbon dioxide in Floyd’s blood and believed that “lack of oxygen” or “asphyxia” caused Floyd’s cardiac arrest.

“I felt that at the time, based on the information I had, it was more likely than the other possibilities,” Langenfeld said on the sixth day of the trial against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, for the death of Floyd, a Black man.

Langenfeld also told the court he saw no evidence that a heart attack killed Floyd when he cut open his chest. He also said that according to the paramedics, Floyd did not exhibit behavior indicating of such a condition.

Chauvin’s defense claimed a heart attack was what the findings of the state medical examiner meant. However, the examiner concluded in the autopsy report that Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” ruling it as a homicide.

“There was no report that the patient complained of chest pain or was clutching his chest,” Langenfeld said.

Langenfeld also said that he saw no evidence that Floyd died of drug overdose, which the defense has claimed led to Floyd’s death instead of the force Chauvin used when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes.

Though, Langenfeld noted on cross-examination that the drug found in Floyd’s system, fentanyl, can suppress breathing.


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