Head of the emergency room at the Rome hospital where Sopranos star James Gandolfini was taken following a suspected heart attack says the actor was considered dead on arrival and that an autopsy has been requested within 24 hours.
ROME, ITALY (JUNE 20, 2013) (REUTERS) - Sopranos star James Gandolfini was considered "dead on arrival" after being taken to a Rome hospital following a suspected heart attack, head of the Policlinico Umberto I hospital emergency department said on Thursday (June 20).
Gandolfini, 51, was vacationing in Italy when his heart stopped late on Wednesday (June 19) evening.
He was taken from his Rome hotel to the hospital where staff found his heart had already stopped at about 11 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), a hospital spokesman said.
"Yesterday night Mr. James Gandolfini, arrived at the Policlinico Umberto Primo University Hospital at the emergency room, the emergency department of this hospital, accompanied by the ambulance of 118 (emergency medical services), it was impossible to obtain a success in the rescue operations and the patient died," head of the hospital's emergency department, Claudio Modini told reporters.
Modini said he believed Gandolfini had died of natural causes but an autopsy would take place within 24 hours.
"Tomorrow, in 24 hours, autopsy will take place," he said.
"I don't know, I don't know but probably a natural cause of death. Probably," Modini added.
Speaking in Italian, Modini said doctors had tried to resuscitate Gandolfini for about 40 minutes after his arrival at the hospital.
"He (James Gandolfini) was brought here to the hospital and entered the emergency ward on code red. The resuscitation manoeuvres, including heart massage etc continued for another forty minutes and then seeing no electric activity from the heart this was interrupted and we declared Mr James dead. The patient was considered dead on arrival and for that reason an autopsy has been requested carried out by a pathologist as is normal procedure in our country," Modini said.
Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano made him a household name and ushered in a new era of American television drama, had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday (June 22).