Danish soccer player Christian Eriksen, 29, shortened to the surface in the first European Championship match in the history of the Owners.
The situation happened completely unexpectedly after a side-throw. On Sunday, it was reported that Eriksen’s heart stopped.
“Yes, it is a life-threatening situation. When blood circulation stops due to cardiac arrest, the brain does not receive oxygen, and then it is stuck for minutes. The heart needs to be quickly re-pumped into the body, ”says the specialist Maarit Valtonen told HS on Sunday night.
Valtonen, who works as a chief physician at the Research Center for Racing and Top Sports (Kihu) and the Finnish Olympic Committee, said that the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest was coronary heart disease.
“At that age, of course, it’s rarer. When you look at the most common causes of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes under the age of 35, there are structural defects of the heart, conduction pathways, and inflammatory causes. ”
Valtonen praises the medical team that worked in the match, whose activities were really crucial to Eriksen’s survival.
“The professionals knew how to act and the necessary equipment was in place.”
In such situations, the most important thing is to secure blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain.
“Once a person has become lifeless, CPR has been started almost immediately and a defibrillator has been quickly obtained. There have been skilled staff on site, and they knew how to react in the right way, ”Valtonen said.
Valtonen points out that in top football, athletes are regularly subjected to extensive cardiac examinations, for which the International Football Association (Fifa) has set a strict framework.
Of the very rare sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes, only eight percent are due to myocarditis.
“Structural causes are the most common cause of sudden death in young people and heart screening aims to reduce this risk. Even with close monitoring of asymptomatic athletes, medicine cannot find everything. It is difficult to make a very rare event even rarer. ”
According to Valtonen, the cause of Eriksen’s cardiac arrest is still too early to assess. The specialist does not want to comment, even at a general level, on whether a top athlete can continue his career in similar cases.
Many those who watched the match might wonder how a top-notch, 29-year-old athlete could experience a sudden illness on the field.
Chief physician of Finnish hockey national teams Markku Tuominen before Eriksen ‘s diagnosis, told HS that at the absolute peak, the risks still exist – they are only slightly different from the average person.
“In sports, it’s about taking the power out of a machine tuned to its peak during performance. Then there is always the possibility that risk situations will arise, ”he recalled.
“The big question for Eriksen is going to be his professional career as a whole – whether he will ever be able to continue at that level again.”
Tuominen himself was with the Lions at the World Hockey Championships at the turn of May-June. According to him, events like the one seen in the Huuhkaja match have been carefully prepared in advance – as rare as they are.
“We have clear plans for these situations. What happens, how to act, how to react. Who is responsible, who is in charge, who is in charge. Situations are rehearsed in advance. ”
Still, it’s a shocking sight when a player is lying on the grass completely lifeless.
“No matter how you prepare for someone to become in a serious situation, it’s always sugary for the doctor. It’s just a human reaction, ”Tuominen said.
Home spectators the transmitted international video signal lingered in dramatic events for too long. The resuscitation was shown several times. Tuominen was not happy with the director’s choices.
“I hope that in the future, TV companies will understand that when it comes to a serious situation, there would be patient protection on. That it is no longer a public game to be sent out, ”he lamented.
The doctor in charge is glad that a successful outcome was achieved on the edge of the field. However, information in the midst of shocking events could have been better.
“We need to have a discussion about it. The TV remained silent, no one really knew what to do, and everyone was unaware. It didn’t go well, ”Tuominen criticized.
“However, when there was such a good situation that things were successfully handled on the ground, it would be necessary to get information out to everyone really quickly that the situation is under control.”