How medical staff in sports ensure players don’t suffer any sudden cardiac arrests?

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After the Eriksen situation today, I’m wondering how they couldn’t prevent it days or weeks prior to the match today. All prayers goes to Christian Eriksen, get well soon!

In: Biology

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I am not a medical expert. Keep this in mind. Doctors can observe things. They know what increases the likelihood of cardiac arrests. For example, blood clotting, or weak heart muscles. They can remedy some of the stuff, or request the player not on the pitch. But not all cardiac arrests are predictable. Some happen completely suddenly. There are no warning signs for them. Doctors unfortunately, cannot predict these.

The vast majority of cardiac arrests strike people who are older, sedentary, and/or overweight. Pro athletes like Eriksen are usually none of the three. ( Although I have seen some pro baseball players who are clearly carrying a spare tire, and some linemen in pro football seem to benefit from extra weight when their primary job is blocking. )

Extreme dehydration can cause arrests in otherwise healthy people, but I assume that the trainers on the sidelines won’t let that happen. Diabetes can also contribute, though I would expect the team docs to have seen that if he had it, since it is so easy to detect. Smoking is a well known risk factor. Docs could see that easily.

For a person of Eriksen’s age and profession, there must have been some rare cardio defect that nobody knew about. Doctors probably could have checked for it, but they are very rare in somebody who seems to be in good health, and so checking is just not a good use of the team’s limited funds.

For a quick overview of cardio defects, see Mayo Clinic’s page: [https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-congenital-heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20355456](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-congenital-heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20355456)

If I were a pro athlete, making the salaries that they do, I would be spending a bunch on tests for obscure problems, and monitoring all kinds of biochemical data . I have read that this is one of the things that Lebron James does with his personal medical budget that goes over one mil per year.