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Sudden death of the athlete, is there anything to prevent it?

Christian Ericksen presenta evento de muerte súbita, ¿Qué pudo haber sucedido?
Jugadores crean una pared humana alrededor de Christian Eriksen. Foto: AFP

It is clear that exercise has multiple benefits for our health and helps us stay in shape. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. But to what extent can exercise lead us to a risk?

"The important thing is that he is fine, but there had never been any episode that, not remotely, had hinted at a problem (of the heart), neither when he was at Tottenham, nor Inter. In Italy, the controls are very rigorous," Inter Milan's doctor, Piero Volpi, told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

On June 12, 2021, during a UEFA Euro 2020 match, there were minutes of anguish after the midfielder of the Danish team, Christian Eriksen, suddenly plunged to the 42nd minute of the first half. One of the players quickly realized that the player was not responding, so the emergency system was activated and the doctors came to his aid.

"Well, what should I say? He had died. We did a cardiac resuscitation and it was a cardiac arrest. How close were we? I don't know," said Morten Boesen, a doctor of the Danish national team.

Upon realizing that there was no pulse, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) maneuvers were initiated almost immediately, which lasted up to almost 15 minutes. During CPR, an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) was placed, where an arrhythmia was detected and defibrillation therapy was administered. This saved the player's life.

The sudden cardiac death of the athlete, what is it and how often does it occur?

The competitive athlete is one who "participates individually or collectively against one or more people, to reach a goal or prize, in which intense and systematic training is required." In other words, any sport that challenges our physical ability to achieve a prize.

Although many of us may be predisposed to suffer cardiovascular events during intense exercise, not all people are dedicated to competitive sports. It is estimated that 1 in 40 to 80,000 athletes can present an event of sudden death of the athlete per year. However, although it is an unrepresentative number, organizations dedicated to sports have dedicated themselves to prevention through routine checks and scrutiny when entering the world of sports.

Prueba de esfuerzo en Guadalajara
La prueba de esfuerzo, y otras serie de estudios nos pueden dar información acerca de tu corazón.

Through interrogation and a series of studies (Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress test...), it is possible to find an endless number of diseases associated with the sudden death of the athlete and achieve a reduction of up to 80% of these events. Among the possible causes are congenital diseases and abnormalities, as well as diseases associated with cholesterol and lipid plaques in the arteries.

Before performing any type of competitive sport (marathons, collective or individual sports teams...) it is essential to go to a medical check-up to reduce this risk and detect a possible cardiovascular disease.

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Sergio Morett,MD - InterventionalCardiology

Sergio Morett, MD

Interventional Cardiology in Guadalajara and Ajijic

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