Experts explain why can cardiac arrest when playing strenuous sports?

Some syndromes or conditions are more likely to cause cardiac arrest on exertion. People with that syndrome may not have any triggers, but spontaneously develop arrhythmias, the heart beats very fast.

The image of Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed, despite not being affected by any impact on the field during the match against Finland at the Euro 2020 finals last night on June 12 (Vietnam time) made fans the world is shocked.

It is still unclear what caused Eriksen's sudden cardiac arrest, fortunately, thanks to timely medical treatment, the male player's heart was restored and he regained consciousness right on the field. As of this morning, Eriksen's health is stable.

Eriksen suddenly collapsed while playing

Eriksen suddenly collapsed while playing. TV Screenshot

What disease can cause cardiac arrest during exercise?

Certain syndromes or conditions predispose to cardiac arrest during exertion, such as: Brugada syndrome (rare arrhythmia), WPW syndrome (pre-excitation in arrhythmia), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy great....

"People with that syndrome, there may be no triggers, but spontaneously develop arrhythmias, very fast heartbeats." Normally, the heart beats 70 - 80 times / minute, but when it is abnormal, the heart rate increases to 300-400 times / minute, causing a drop in blood pressure, fainting and possibly cardiac arrest soon after.

If people with that syndrome exercise too much, arrhythmias are likely to occur. Or, people with that syndrome, if they drink alcohol, are also prone to sudden death due to cardiac arrest.

"In fact, there was a young patient who was happily drinking with friends the night before, but the next morning, his family members found him dead," the expert shared.

About 80% of sudden deaths while playing sports are patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease

"The person may already know but subjectively think "the disease is only mild" or maybe the disease has never been detected"

There are people who are completely healthy and when doing basic tests, such as: blood tests, chest radiographs, echocardiograms, do not show any abnormalities in the heart. Because the heart size may be normal, the contractile function is good, but on the electrocardiogram, there are signs suggestive of the pathology that predisposes to cardiac arrest.

Examples are: Brugada syndrome, long QT syndrome (which can lead to some serious and potentially fatal arrhythmias), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, WPW syndrome... hereditary.

"These pathologies are quite discreet, so doctors who don't specialize in cardiology may not notice and don't detect them."

Young people should not be subjective

According to this expert, exercise is always good for heart health, but it should be appropriate. It is important to keep in mind that you should check your heart health if you play contact sports.

Young people, normal health, mobility and exercise will be heavier than elderly people. Older people or people with heart failure should exercise less often than people without heart disease.

"With some heart diseases, exertion can cause complications such as: arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, stroke... Therefore, before choosing high-intensity sports, it is advisable to check If there is a medical condition, the doctor will guide the appropriate exercise, avoiding the risk of inappropriate exercise."

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