Doctor: Player Who Collapsed on Field 'Was Gone'

Denmark's Christian Eriksen 'was gone,' team physician says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2021 12:00 PM CDT
Doctor: Player Who Collapsed Had Cardiac Arrest
Denmark's Christian Eriksen controls the ball during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match against Finland on Saturday. He later collapsed on the pitch.   (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool via AP)

Denmark's team doctor said Sunday that a player's heart stopped and that "he was gone" before being resuscitated with a defibrillator at the European Championship. Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field during Denmark's opening Euro 2020 group game against Finland on Saturday and was given lengthy medical treatment before regaining consciousness. “He was gone. And we did cardiac resuscitation. And it was cardiac arrest," said Morten Boesen, the team doctor who led the treatment of Eriksen on the field. "How close were we? I don't know. We got him back after one defib. That's quite fast." Eriksen was reportedly stable at a Copenhagen hospital, the AP reports, and had spoken to teammates via video link on Sunday, team officials said. Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said when he spoke to Eriksen, the Inter Milan midfielder was more concerned about his teammates' well-being than his own. "That's typical Christian," Hjumlmand said. "It was good to see him smile."

Boesen said it was still unclear what caused the collapse. He also said the 29-year-old Eriksen may not have survived had the game not been played at a major soccer tournament with top-flight medical equipment at hand. "The time from when it happens to when he receives help is the critical factor, and that time was short," Boesen said. "That was decisive." The Danish players and team staff were being given crisis management assistance as they process the incident. Eriksen fell face-forward to the ground late in the first half, and his teammates formed a protective circle around him while medics gave him treatment. The game was suspended for about 90 minutes; Finland won 1-0 after scoring in the second half. The decision to restart the game has been heavily criticized by many in Denmark, including two former players. Hjulmand said that he remained proud of his players for finishing the game, but that he now had second thoughts about not insisting it be called off. "I have a guilty conscience that we were back out there," he said.

(More cardiac arrest stories.)

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