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Close call for fit, young, soccer star who collapsed on the pitch this weekend

14 June 2021 12:04 PM
Tags:
Soccer
Football
Cardiac arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest SCA
Chris Eriksen

Lester Kiewit asks a sports medicine expert why fit athletes like footballer Chris Eriksen may be susceptible to heart attacks.
  • Danish midfielder Chris Eriksen collapsed on the field during Saturday's Euro 2020 match against Finland
  • Danish officials say Eriksen's condition is and he remains in hospital for further examination

FILE: Pixabay.com.

Well-wishes continue to pour in for Danish soccer star Chris Eriksen who collapsed on the pitch during Denmark's Euro 2020 match against Finland on Saturday.

The midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during the game, the Danish team doctor Morten Boesen confirmed on Sunday.

Eriksen's team-mates and football fans at Parken Stadium were visibly distressed as the player was treated on the pitch on Saturday.

Eriksen needed CPR but is said to be in a stable condition in hospital and in 'good spirits' according to Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand.

But just what would cause a super-fit athlete, in the peak of physical health, like Eriksen, to collapse suddenly from a heart attack?

Lester Kiewit posed the question to Prof Martin Schwellnus, professor of sport and exercise medicine at the University of Pretoria.

This is an extremely rare event in young, fit athletes.

Prof Martin Schwellnus, Professor of sport and exercise medicine - University of Pretoria

Schwellnus says athletes like Eriksen undergo periodical fitness assessments:

We call them pre-season health assessments, to precisely look for this kind of concern that you may have an underlying condition.

Prof Martin Schwellnus, Professor of sport and exercise medicine - University of Pretoria

In 70 percent of cases we can pick up abnormalities by doing this screening.

Prof Martin Schwellnus, Professor of sport and exercise medicine - University of Pretoria

In June 2003, Cameroonian footballer Marc Vivian Foe who played for Manchester City died after collapsing on the pitch.

An autopsy revealed Foe had suffered hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary condition that is known to increase the risk of sudden death during physical exercise.

Similarly, Spanish soccer star Antonio Puerta died in 2007, three days after falling ill on the field. His death was put down to 'postanoxic encephalopathy' and multiple organ failure.

RELATED: Former Springbok Kobus Wiese: 'Hospital staff were just world-class'




14 June 2021 12:04 PM
Tags:
Soccer
Football
Cardiac arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest SCA
Chris Eriksen

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