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Christian Eriksen is "fine under circumstances" after cardiac arrest, doctors say

June 16, 2021 | 15:23

Danish player, Christian Eriksen, has been in recovery, and sent his thanks to all the fans and people all around the world for the well wishes in his first social media post after having a cardiac arrest during Saturday's Euro 2020 game against Finland.

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The midfielder is seen smiling from his hospital bed, giving a thumbs in a post on the Danish national team's Twitter profile.

Eriksen, 29, had to be resuscitated after he dropped to the ground unexpectedly during Denmark’s opening game against Finland on Saturday.

Finland and Denmark fans cheer the name of Denmark's Christian Eriksen inside the stadium after the match is postponed [Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters]
Finland and Denmark fans cheer the name of Denmark's Christian Eriksen inside the stadium after the match is postponed [Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters]

As Eriksen lay unconscious on the field and medics rushed to give him CPR, his teammates crowded around him in visible distress. Some 15,000 fans in the stands fell into hushed silence while millions more watched the incident live on TV.

He was eventually taken to hospital awake and in stable condition.

In his first public comments since the incident, Eriksen posted a selfie to Instagram from a hospital bed Tuesday, thanking everyone for the “sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world.”

Eriksen said the support means a lot to him and his family, adding that he still has to undergo some medical examinations, but was feeling well, according to CNBC.

Christian Eriksen thanks well-wishers from his hospital bed. Photo: CNN
Christian Eriksen thanks well-wishers from his hospital bed. Photo: CNN

Denmark’s team doctor, Morten Boesen, said Sunday that Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and “was gone” before being resuscitated with a defibrillator.

Boesen said he did not have an explanation for why Eriksen experienced a cardiac arrest.

“Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches,” Eriksen wrote in his post in English.

Saturday's match had to be suspended as viewers around the world watched in terror as the incident unfolded in real time.

It was resumed the same day and Denmark went on to lose to Finland, 0-1. The decision to restart the game not long after Eriksen's collapse has been criticized, including by Denmark's coach Kasper Hjulmand, because of the emotional toll the incident has taken on both teams.

Eriksen, one of Denmark’s biggest stars, spoke to the team via video link on Sunday, which his teammates said was an important boost as they try to re-focus on the tournament.

Politicians and celebrities have shared messages of support for the family of Christian Eriksen after the Denmark midfielder collapsed on the pitch during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden was among those who posted online about the “awful scenes” witnessed at the match in Copenhagen, as Eriksen’s teammates surrounded him to protect his privacy, Independent UK reported.

Denmark's players react as paramedics attend to Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen on Saturday. Friedemann Vogel / AFP - Getty Images
Denmark's players react as paramedics attend to Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen on Saturday. Friedemann Vogel / AFP - Getty Images

Head coach Kasper Hjulmand said: "I have said that Eriksen is the heart, the pulse, the rhythm of our team. He has an incredible ability to perceive time, space and rhythm in a football match, [but] he won't be there on Thursday.

"We have a lot of other players who can contribute, and skilled players who can also find the rhythm of the match. We are putting something together that will be difficult for Belgium - I'm sure of that."

On the rest of the team, he added: "It's totally OK if someone does not have the emotions needed to not give everything in the game. We need to prepare for an emotional trip to Parken.

"It will be a special atmosphere. We have to prepare mentally, the players are used to that. What are some of the emotions that can hit us? It's going to be weird to come back, we're going to be met with a lot of emotions."

Fears Denmark midfielder may not football professionally again

Professor Sanjay Sharma, professor of sports cardiology at London’s St George’s University said UK football bodies were likely to be “very strict” about allowing him to play again.

Speaking about the incident, Prof Sharma, who worked with Eriksen during his time at Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Clearly something went terribly wrong. But they managed to get him back, the question is what happened? And why did it happen?

“This guy had normal tests all the way up to 2019 so how do you explain this cardiac arrest?”

Prof 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 a cardiac arrest could have taken place, such as high temperatures or an unidentified condition.

But he said reports that Eriksen was awake in hospital was “a very good sign”.

“I’m very pleased. The fact he’s stable and awake, his outlook is going to be very good,” he told the PA news agency.

“I don’t know whether he’ll ever play football again.

“Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again?

“The answer is no.”

Prof Sharma added that it would be up to both the player and the club to assess the risks of continuing to play.

“His cardiac arrest has rocked the entire nation today and that’s what happens. It’s not just them that it affects, it’s the psyche of so many people,” he said.

“The good news is he will live, the bad news is he was coming to the end of his career, so would he play another professional football game, that I can’t say.

One of the doctors who treated Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba agreed there could “only be assumptions” about Eriksen’s future.

Muamba also suffered a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup quarter-final in 2012 but made a full recovery.

Dr Sam Mohiddin told BBC news: “The cardiac arrest is a moment of extreme peril. If you don’t get someone out of cardiac arrest things are over. You will not survive.

“The ongoing risk to an individual to an extent depends on the precise cause of that cardiac arrest.”

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