Senator falls ill during committee hearing

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- Sen. Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, was taken to the local hospital here after briefly losing consciousness during a committee hearing on Tuesday.

He was reported in good condition early Tuesday afternoon by a spokeswoman for Bartlett Regional Hospital.

It was not immediately clear what led to Seekins' fainting episode.

Seekins appeared to slump to one side during the Senate Finance Committee hearing at about 9:25 a.m. and complained of being lightheaded.

Sen. Donny Olson, D-Nome, rushed to Seekins' aid and said the Fairbanks lawmaker appeared to lose consciousness for less than a minute as he was being lowered to the floor.

Seekins regained consciousness and his low pulse rate rebounded, Olson said. Witnesses said the state senator was awake and alert when emergency medical workers took him to the hospital.

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