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Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest

The 23 year old collapsed from a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup game against Spurs on Saturday. He was treated with a defibrillator in front of thousands of fans before being taken to the intensive care unit at the London Chest Hospital
WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Keith David Barnard

20th March 2012 - You need to be in peak fitness to play in the Premier League, which made it all the more shocking for fans when Bolton's Fabrice Muamba collapsed from a cardiac arrest on Saturday.

The FA Cup tie with Spurs at White Hart Lane was abandoned while Fabrice Muamba was given CPR and defibrillator treatment on the pitch in from of thousands of fans.

He was taken to the specialist heart centre at The London Chest Hospital.

The hospital says Fabrice Muamba has had a comfortable night in the intensive care unit where the medical team is continuing to monitor his progress.

His fiancé Shauna said on twitter: "Ur positivity, love and faith is helping Fabrice. For that I can only thank u all xx"

A charity which specialises in screening young athletes for undiagnosed heart conditions tells us it has already had "constant phone calls" to its helpline requesting screening after people heard about Fabrice's collapse.

Cardiac arrest or heart attack?

The Heart Attack Centre at The London Chest Hospital and Bolton Wanderers say Fabrice sustained a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup Quarter Final against Tottenham Hotspur. A cardiac arrest in a young fit adult such as in Fabrice’s case usually occurs because of an electrical disturbance in the heart that leads to either a severely disturbed rhythm (such as ventricular fibrillation, where the heart effectively stops working) or it stops altogether. The result is the same – no blood reaches the brain and the patient loses consciousness and is at risk of death within a few minutes if not given CPR immediately. A typical heart attack usually occurs in older people, when the blood supply (via the coronary arteries) to part of the heart muscle becomes blocked. Although sudden death can occur due to an abnormal rhythm, usually the situation progresses more slowly, is accompanied by chest pain, and there is time to correct the blockage and stop the affected heart muscle from dying.

Fabrice was given prolonged resuscitation at the ground and on route to The London Chest Hospital, where his heart eventually started working.

As is normal medical practice in cases like this, the hospital says Fabrice was anaesthetised in intensive care for at least 24 hours while his condition was closely monitored by the cardiac specialists.

Messages of support

There were special rounds of applause for Fabrice at matches on Sunday, and plenty of messages of support from other players. Wayne Rooney tweeted: "Good to hear Muamba is stable. Hope he gets better soon."

Bolton Wanderers' manager Owen Coyle said: "Fabrice's family have asked me to pass on their thanks for the many, many kind messages of support from not only Bolton fans but also fans from clubs across the country and abroad.

"All our thoughts and prayers are for Fabrice and his family at this time."

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