Christian Eriksen 'in a good mood' and 'making jokes' following cardiac arrest but wants answers from doctors, says agent

Christian Eriksen was given emergency CPR on the pitch after collapsing just before half-time in Saturday's game; team doctor Morten Boesen said 29-year-old was "gone", but swift intervention of Simon Kjaer and medical staff saved Eriksen's life

June 6, 2021: Denmarks Christian Eriksen during Denmark against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Broendby Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark. Kim Price/CSM(Credit Image: © Kim Price/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
Image: Christian Eriksen has "received messages from the whole world", says his agent

Christian Eriksen's agent says the midfielder is "making jokes" in hospital but wants answers from doctors after suffering a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 opener.

Eriksen was given emergency CPR on the pitch during Saturday's game against Finland, which was temporarily suspended as the 29-year-old was taken to Rigshospitalet, a hospital near Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen said Eriksen was "gone", but swift treatment on the field of play and by hospital staff meant the midfielder was stabilised, and he was later able to send his greetings to team-mates.

Martin Schoots, Eriksen's agent, told Italian outlet Gazzetta on Sunday that the Dane is in good spirits, and is "happy" after seeing the support he has received from around the game.

"We spoke this morning [Sunday]. He was making jokes, he was in a good mood, I thought he was well," Schoots said.

"We all want to understand what happened to him, and he does too: the doctors are making some in-depth tests, but we'll need some time.

"He was happy, because he understood how much love he has around him. He received messages from the whole world. And he was particularly struck by those in the Inter environment: not just his team-mates who spoke to him in their private chat, but also the fans.

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"Christian won't give up. Him, and his family, want to make sure that everybody receives their thanks. Half the world contacted us, everyone was worried. Now he only needs to rest, his wife and parents are with him.

"Even tomorrow [Monday], he will remain under observation, maybe Tuesday as well. But in any case he wants to support his team-mates against Belgium."

Schmeichel: 'So damn nice' to see Eriksen laugh

Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel (left) and Christian Eriksen during a training session at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Image: Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel (left) and Christian Eriksen during a training session at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said it was "so damn nice" to be able to visit Eriksen in hospital, adding that the experience has helped him after the traumatic events of Saturday afternoon.

"It was damn nice to see him smile and laugh and be himself and just feel that he is there," Schmeichel told broadcaster DR. "It was a great experience and something that has helped me a lot."

Schmeichel says he and his countrymen are now determined to win the Euros for the former Spurs man.

"We're still in the tournament," he said. "Now, we have to try to see if we can win this and do it for Christian and do it for all the fans who sat with us and were just as powerless in the situation as we were.

"I have no doubt that this team has the unity, the strength to be able to come together and go out and do something special."

Schmeichel's father, Peter, claimed Denmark's players did not want to restart the game against Finland, which Kasper appeared to agree with.

"We were put in a position I don't think we should have been put in," the younger Schmeichel said. "It probably required that someone above us had said that it was not the time to make a decision and maybe should wait for the next day."

What is CPR and how did it save Eriksen's life?

Denmark's medical team attended to Christian Eriksen just before half time
Image: Denmark's medical team attended to Christian Eriksen just before half time

The swift intervention of Simon Kjaer and the medical staff saved Eriksen's life.

"[Eriksen] was gone," Denmark's team doctor Boesen said. "We did cardiac resuscitation, it was a cardiac arrest. How close were we to losing him? I don't know but we got him back after one defib, so that's quite fast."

Eriksen's sudden collapse prompted Kjaer to clear his team-mate's airways and start the life-saving CPR technique, which was continued with the aid of a defibrillator and professional medical staff.

Fortunately, the Denmark captain's first aid skills proved vital and Eriksen is now recovering in hospital and considered to be out of danger.

CPR is quite easy to learn and it can be the difference between life and death before emergency medical services can arrive to help out.

So what is it, how does it make a difference and how should you behave if you find yourself in an emergency?

What is CPR?

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Dr Sanjay Sharma, a sports cardiologist at St George's Hospital who worked with Christian Eriksen at Tottenham, says the speedy response of the medical team on the field was critical for his recovery.

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a medical technique which is given to someone who goes into cardiac arrest.

That occurs when the heart encounters an electrical issue and stops pumping blood around the body and to the brain, causing the person to fall out of consciousness and stop breathing.

Medics define this as 'clinical death', which is the onset of biological death, although CPR can help re-start the person's heart functions and save their life.

By administering chest compressions and rescue breaths, the CPR performer helps to pump blood and oxygen around the person's body, taking over the role of their heart and lungs.

Why is CPR so important?

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Fabrice Muamba says Christian Eriksen's health and wellbeing is the most important thing, after the Denmark midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest.

"Time is myocardium, that's what we say in medicine - that means the longer that there is a time delay, the higher the chance that the heart muscle will never recover," Professor of Cardiology Dr Sanjay Sharma told Sky Sports News.

"In fact for every minute that passes, the chances of an individual surviving go down by between seven and 10 per cent. So it's very, very crucial to keep the heart beating during these crucial moments and get the heart started as quickly as possible.

"Not just so that the cardiac outcome will be good, but also that the other organs, such as the brain, remain well perfused so that the individual after survival remains healthy."

How do you perform CPR?

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First aired in 2018, we explain how to perform CPR with David Ginola, Jamie Carragher and Monday Night Football presenter David Jones

Always seek professional help by calling 999 before starting CPR.

The NHS's advice to carry out chest compressions is as follows:

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person's chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) on their chest.
  4. Keeping your hands on their chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
  5. Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.

The British Heart Foundation recommends that in an emergency situation it is better to try and perform CPR, even if unsure, rather than to not do anything at all.

Muamba's doctor relieved by Eriksen's recovery

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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.

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.

"In many ways, Christian has reacted to CPR and defibrillation in the way we would have expected Fabrice to," he told Sky Sports News.

"We were obviously really disappointed and surprised that Fabrice didn't come around so quickly, fortunately by continuing CPR and other advanced resuscitation efforts we managed to save Fabrice, but after being unconscious for a much longer time.

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

"I think it's just another example that everybody should recognise the importance of early CPR, learn how to do CPR and make sure that you have defibrillators available quickly."

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

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