Christian Eriksen: Swift medical response crucial but more still needs to be done for lower leagues, says doctor who treated Fabrice Muamba

Midfielder Eriksen given CPR on the pitch during Denmark's Euro 2020 match against Finland brought back painful memories for Dr Andrew Deaner, who has urged the authorities to do more to provide medical support to players lower down the football pyramid

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Dr Andrew Deaner, who treated Fabrice Muamba when he suffered a cardiac arrest nine years ago, praised the speedy medical response after Christian Eriksen collapsed

The doctor who treated Fabrice Muamba after he collapsed during a game in 2012 praised the swift medical reactions in treating Christian Eriksen, but says the football authorities still need to do more to support players lower down the football pyramid.

The images of Eriksen collapsing on the pitch during Denmark's opening Euro 2020 match against Finland and being given emergency CPR brought back painful memories for Dr Andrew Deaner.

Deaner was the doctor on hand to treat Muamba after the then Bolton midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during a game in March 2012.

Muamba's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes after he collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham.

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Professor of Cardiology Dr Sanjay Sharma says the quick response of the medical staff was crucial after Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch

"It brought back memories but it's great to see medical staff coming on and starting CPR at an early stage," Deaner told Sky Sports News.

"I could obviously recognise what was happening and could see they were using a defibrillator but, of course, like everyone else, feared the worst.

"The norm is what happened with Christian (Eriksen) and if CPR is started effectively and you have early access to defibrillators, you should get a positive result.

Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during Bolton's FA Cup game against Tottenham in March 2012
Image: Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during Bolton's FA Cup game against Tottenham in March 2012

"It's another example that everyone should recognise the importance of early CPR, learn how to do it and make sure in your local community you have defibrillators available quickly.

"The football authorities insist on having trained staff nearby and having defibrillators nearby and maybe what we did with Fabrice (Muamba) and the work we did afterwards has made sure that's the case at all important matches.

"I hope this will also be the case in less important matches because it is those who collapse in lower league matches and amateur matches who may not have access to resuscitation and defibrillators as easily.

"Let's hope this is another example that pushes the authorities to make sure defibrillators are available at every football ground, at Hackney Marshes and places all over the country where people play football on a Sunday or a Saturday."

'Eriksen had no history of heart concerns'

Despite being given life-saving heart treatment on the pitch, Christian Eriksen had no prior heart issues during his time with Tottenham, his former cardiologist has said.

Dr Sanjay Sharma of St. George's University of London said the Dane had returned normal tests since joining the club in 2013 before leaving for Inter Milan in 2019 with Saturday's incident leaving him shocked.

"I was horrified - these events are uncommon and usually occur in 1 in 50,000 sports people and usually in people with undetected cardiac faults of the heart muscle or the electrical system," Dr Sharma told Sky Sports News.

"A player like (Christian) Eriksen would have been tested on an annual basis and was tested in comprehensive detail when he signed for Spurs as well as tested annually until he left the club.

"His cardiac results were normal so it really does beg the question as to why it happened yesterday."

Dr Sharma, who chairs the FA's expert cardiac consensus group and is a consultant for charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), said there were multiple reasons why Eriksen could have collapsed.

"There are several possibilities - one that it was an undetected cardiac condition as some of the tests we perform do not pick up every single thing such as mild scar or mild inflammation of the heart muscle," Dr Sharma added.

"Or it could be something that developed after he was tested in 2019 but I am sure Inter Milan would have tested him.

"I am sure the Danish cardiologists are doing their upmost to find out what happened yesterday - that has to be the ultimate aim, to find out what happened and what went wrong.

"They'll be doing all the tests that had been done whilst he was a player here [at Tottenham] and whilst playing in Italy, checking for specific other conditions that we don't usually look for, such as blocked arteries, because they are usually quite uncommon in players as young as Eriksen.

"They'll be checking for scar tissue and of course they will treat him and depending on what they find the treatment will vary but the aim is to preserve a good quantity and quality of life."

For more information on FA medical courses which can help to deal with such things as a cardiac arrest and how to treat them, visit the FA Bootroom.

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