On the second day of Euro 2020, Denmark’s Christian Eriksen collapsed just before halftime vs. Finland. After over ten minutes of medical attention, it was clear he went into cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated and transported to a nearby hospital in Copenhagen.
When the fans in the stadium realized the magnitude the injury, they all began chanting “Christian Eriksen”. It was a beautiful moment between rival fans.
Eriksen’s Inter Milan and former Tottenham Hotspur teammates have sent messages to Eriksen since his injury.
The match between Denmark and Finland resumed a couple hours later, ending in a 1-0 victory for Finland. Of course, the only thing that really matters to the Danish team is that Eriksen is okay.
The Dane is set to get a heart-starter device implanted to prevent another situation like this. He will receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) that can discharge a jolt to restore a regular heartbeat.
His future playing soccer is still up for debate. Netherlands and Ajax defender Daley Blind plays with an ICD, after receiving one for an inflamed heart muscle in 2019. This gives hope for Eriksen to return. Unfortunately, he plays in Italy, where they bar players from playing with an ICD. The 29-year-old will either have to get a special exemption by the Italian FA Board or move elsewhere.
Heroic efforts from Kasper Schmeichel and Simon Kjær
Denmark captain Simon Kjær was among the first to get to Eriksen when he went down. He played a vital role in saving his life. He and referee Anthony Taylor led the charge in signaling for medical attention. Kjær also positioned Eriksen for CPR and cleared his airways before the doctors arrived.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Kjær urged his team to form a barrier around Eriksen when he was unconscious. When Eriksen’s wife, Sabrina, reached the sidelines, Kjær and Schmeichel were immediately there to console her.
The silver lining of this terrible incident is that health protocols will be taken extremely seriously. The Parken Stadium was equipped with a defibrillator, but all stadiums are not required to have one. It is very likely the reason he is still alive. This should encourage all sporting arenas to keep a defibrillator with their medical team in the event something like this happens again. The quick administration of CPR also played a part in saving his life. It seems only right that all players and staff become CPR certified.
It’s hard to think of anything good coming from a cardiac arrest incident during a Euro 2020 match. After the immediate shock, you can see what can be improved. Eriksen is on the road to recovery, and the lacking safety precautions in stadiums was outlined to be fixed.
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