Danish footballer Christian Eriksen has spent his third night time in hospital having assessments, following a cardiac arrest throughout a European Championship match on Saturday.
But medical doctors are nonetheless no clearer as to why his coronary heart stopped abruptly – and in search of the cause is now a precedence.
“It was a 29-year-old fighting for his life,” Prof Sanjay Sharma, heart specialist and chairman of the Football Association’s professional cardiac committee, advised the BBC.
“We now need to try to find out what actually happened.”
One of the commonest causes of a cardiac arrest is a life-threatening irregular coronary heart rhythm, in accordance with the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
Other causes embody cardiomyopathy – a illness of the center muscle affecting its measurement, form or thickness, which can be inherited – and acute myocarditis, or irritation of the center muscle.
Complex scans of Mr Eriksen’s coronary heart will now be being carried out to detect very delicate scars or abnormalities – one thing which common screening of league footballers’ hearts could not have picked up, Prof Sharma mentioned.
These assessments are obligatory within the UK, taking place each two years from the age of 16 to 25.
They search for something suspicious in the best way the center capabilities and its construction – however regardless of the most effective efforts of medical doctors, these assessments will not be a 100% assure that underlying issues can be discovered.
“These conditions don’t always show up in adolescence or in 16 to 25-year-olds,” Prof Sharma says.
“They may not start to show until their mid-20s or 30s.”
Sometimes abnormalities solely happen when footballers are mid-match, or they could possibly be linked to a different latest sickness which can have burdened the center.
If and when issues are recognized, some can be mounted or handled – however others stay irreversible or incurable.
A cardiac arrest happens when the center abruptly stops pumping blood across the physique, ravenous the mind of oxygen and main somebody to fall unconscious and cease respiration.
It is completely different to a coronary heart assault, which happens when the blood provide to the center muscle is minimize off, typically due to a clot in one of many coronary arteries.
Mr Eriksen isn’t the one footballer to have suffered a cardiac arrest. In 2012, one other footballer, Fabrice Muamba, collapsed on the pitch and his coronary heart stopped for 78 minutes. Marc-Vivien Foe died whereas taking part in for Cameroon aged 28, and former England defender Ugo Ehiogu, who was a Spurs coach, died in 2017, aged 44.
“Extreme exercise puts athletes at increased risk because they stress their hearts harder – and that’s more likely to trigger an issue,” says Dr Zafar Iqbal, head of sports activities medication at Crystal Palace Football Club.
“But these are very rare incidents,” he provides.
Cardiac arrests can occur to anybody at any time – not simply match footballers.
Every week within the UK, 12 folks aged below 35 die from sudden cardiac arrest.
And within the UK every year, 30,000 cardiac arrests occur exterior of hospitals – all requiring emergency resuscitation, with only one in 10 folks surviving.
Footballers’ hearts are usually bigger and work extra effectively than different folks’s, which places them at very low threat of different coronary heart issues reminiscent of heart problems or blocked arteries, typically seen in people who smoke or unhealthy eaters.
But if extra stress is placed on the center from dehydration, warmth or a latest sickness, that might have an effect.
‘Every second counts’
Dr Iqbal says it was essential that CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was began immediately on Mr Eriksen, adopted by use of an AED (automated exterior defibrillator), and it’s a method everybody ought to know the right way to do.
He want to see defibrillators, which use an electrical shock to the center, put in in each secondary college.
“Every minute of delay reduces the chances of survival by 10%,” he says.
Performing CPR can greater than double a individual’s possibilities of survival in some circumstances.
“Every second counts when someone suffers a cardiac arrest – the more of us that know how to perform CPR, the more lives that can be saved,” says Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, advisor heart specialist and affiliate medical director on the BHF.
Defibrillators are sometimes positioned in workplaces and locations like airports, buying centres, and neighborhood centres.
Anyone can use them, and consultants stress that there isn’t any manner of utilizing them wrongly.
The defibrillator will solely ship a shock if it is wanted, after mechanically assessing somebody’s coronary heart rhythm.
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