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Euro 2020: Denmark’s team doctor confirms Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrestclose to death

‘He was gone’: Denmark’s team doctor confirms Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch and was close to death before medics ‘got him back’… but cause of his shocking heart problem is still a mystery

Denmark’s team doctor has confirmed Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during their Euro 2020 fixture with Finland but the cause of his heart problem remains unclear.

The midfielder fell to the ground just before half-time and needed emergency CPR treatment for 13 minutes. The 29-year-old was stabilised on the pitch and was taken to hospital where he was awaiting further checks. 

Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen confirmed the midfielder had suffered a cardiac arrest but it said the cause is still unclear.  

Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 fixture with Finland

Denmark's team doctor confirmed the midfielder came close to death in a press conference

Denmark’s team doctor confirmed the midfielder came close to death in a press conference

Eriksen collapsed just before half-time and needed urgent CPR for around 13 minutes

Eriksen collapsed just before half-time and needed urgent CPR for around 13 minutes

WHAT IS A CARDIAC ARREST? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM A HEART ATTACK? 

A heart attack and a cardiac arrest are not the same thing

A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing normally

A heart attack is when one of the  coronary arteries becomes blocked. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply and, if left untreated, will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen 

Many cardiac arrests in adults happen because of a heart attack. This is because a person who is having a heart attack may develop a dangerous heart rhythm, which can cause a cardiac arrest 

Source: British Heart Foundation 

When asked how close they caim to losing Eriksen, Boesen replied: ‘He was gone…. how close were we? I don’t know – we got him back after one defib… so that’s quite fast.’

He added: ‘Eriksen’s preliminary tests have given good results, but he will have to undergo further tests. None of us know what happened.’ 

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand said he had spoken to the midfielder, who could not remember his collapse but insisted he was more concerned about the welfare of his team-mates. 

Eriksen told Hjulmand: ‘I don’t remember much but I’m more concerned about you guys. How are you doing?’ 

‘That’s typical Christian,’ Hjulmand added. ‘It was good to see him smile.’   

The incident happened during the 40th minute of the match and just before 5.45pm UK time. Medics attended to Eriksen with his Denmark team-mates encircling the player being treated to protect his privacy.

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer played a particularly important role in Eriksen’s immediate medical care, with the 32-year-old clearing the Inter Milan player’s airways as one of the first responder, organising the huddle around Eriksen and consoling the player’s terrified wife, Sabrina Kvist. 

Kasper Schmeichel was also quick on the scene and comforted Eriksen’s wife, with his father Peter Schmeichel revealing he had reassured her the midfielder was still breathing.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘You could see from the reaction of… my son Kasper running over to her and I obviously spoke to him last night and he went over to say Christian is breathing and she actually believed he had passed away and just to confirm that he went back to be absolutely sure he wasn’t saying anything that was out of order.’

Some Denmark fans were in tears in the stands while the 29-year-old was being resuscitated, before the supporters started chanting his name along with Finnish supporters. 

The match was suspended at 6pm, with Eriksen seen sitting up and conscious just minutes later. His agent Michael Schoots confirmed that he was able to breathe and the match resumed at 7.30pm after both sets of players agreed to continue the tie. 

Denmark players encircled Eriksen while he was being treated by the medics in Copenhagen

Denmark players encircled Eriksen while he was being treated by the medics in Copenhagen

Eriksen was taken away by medics after regaining consciousness on the pitch

Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel consoled Eriksen's wife and reassured her he was still breathing

Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel consoled Eriksen’s wife and reassured her he was still breathing

Denmark returned to the field of play nearly two hours after the incident to carry on the game

Denmark returned to the field of play nearly two hours after the incident to carry on the game

Danish and Finnish players also had the option to resume the match at 12pm on Sunday but opted against that move, while Danish technical director Peter Moller confirmed that Eriksen spoke to his team-mates before they went out to play again.   

Finland ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo’s second-half goal, while Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham missed a late penalty. 

According to Professor Sanjay Sharma, Eriksen’s cardiologist while he played at Tottenham, the 29-year-old had no prior history of ‘underlying cardiac fault’.

NHS cardiology consultant Dr Scott Murray predicted that Eriksen will not play professional football again and there is the prospect of Italy banning him from representing Inter Milan due to his heart problems.  

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