Thursday, 30 August 2007

Sudden Deaths in Soccer: Are we doing anything about it?

There is an interesting write up of the series of sudden deaths in soccer by The Star (Malaysia) on Thursday August 30, 2007.

A history of sudden deaths in football

# Aug 28, 2007: Spain and Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta (pic) died on Tuesday following a heart attack, becoming the latest footballer to die suddenly while playing.

# April 11, 2006: Colombian teenager Victor Alfonso Guerrero, 17, died during a training session for the reserve side of Colombian First Division club Envigado FC. He collapsed and lost consciousness, and died on the way to hospital.

# June 25, 2005: Hugo Cunha, a 28-year-old midfielder with Portuguese top flight side Uniao Leiria, died while playing a match with friends. Cunha suffered a heart attack and was unable to be resuscitated by the emergency services.

# Oct 27, 2004: Brazilian Serginho, 30, collapsed during a Brazilian First Division match between his club Sao Caetano and Sao Paulo and later died. His death caused a huge controversy after the autopsy revealed that his heart weighed 600 grams, twice the normal size. Sao Caetano, the club’s president and the doctor were sanctioned by Brazil’s sporting authorities.

# Jan 25, 2004: Benfica’s Hungarian international striker Miklos Feher, 24, collapsed during a Portuguese Premier League match against Vitoria Guimaraes and never regained consciousness. The autopsy revealed he had suffered from a heart malformation.

# June 26, 2003: Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe died while playing against Colombia in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup. The Manchester City player collapsed in the centre circle and all efforts to save him failed. An autopsy revealed he had a disorder of his heart’s electrical system.

# December 2002: Macedonian defender Stefan Toleski died of a suspected heart attack. He collapsed halfway through the first half of his side FK Napredok’s league match against Kumanovo and later died in hospital.

# February 2000: John Ikoroma, a 17-year-old Nigerian youth international, suffered a heart attack during a friendly in the United Arab Emirates. He was in a trial match for Al-Wahda against Kazakh club Astona when he collapsed 20 minutes before the final whistle. He died in hospital.

# 1997: Emmanuel Awanegbo, a Nigerian playing in Germany, died after only 12 minutes of play. The death was attributed to cardiac arrest.

# 1995: Amir Angwe, 29, a striker for the Julius Berger Club of Nigeria, collapsed a minute before the end of an African Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final match with Maxaquene of Mozambique. Doctors believe he died of a heart attack.

# 1989: Nigerian international Samuel Okwaraji, who had signed as a professional for AS Roma in Italy after stopping his university studies in Rome, died during a World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and Angola.

This is a reminder to all who conduct sporting competition that efforts are needed to prevent the occurence of sudden deaths in elite athletes. Although elite athletes are routinely screened for medical conditions, some are done without exercise stress test. Some have in the past linked such deaths to fatigue, severe dehydration, doping, alcohol and illicit drugs. In some parts of the world, soccer and field hockey tournaments are still held without cardiac resuscitation equipment to give some hope of saving the athlete in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

What are we doing to prevent sudden cardiac deaths in our sport?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it