How has Christian Eriksen’s collapse increased the awareness about on-field medical checkups_quick medical aid

UEFA Euro Cup 2020: Christian Eriksen’s Collapse During The Match

It was June 12th, when football fans across the world were excitedly watching the match between Denmark and Finland, as part of the Euro Cup 2020. The match was into its 43rd minute when Denmark team midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. Team members promptly rose to the occasion, rushing to roll him onto his side so that his airways were open. While the medical team attended to his condition, a number of his teammates in UEFA Euro 2020, in a conscientious move, formed a human wall around the scene. Eventually, it was assessed as a case of cardiac arrest.

What is SCA?

In the case of SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest), a person’s heart fails to pump blood effectively throughout the body. It depends on electrical impulses from the body’s pacemaker cells to develop a regular heartbeat. Blood is first pumped to the lungs where it is oxygenated and then the oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the rest of the body. One can suffer from a cardiac arrest due to several reasons, but it mostly occurs due to malfunctioning of the heart’s electrical system, which leads to irregular and ineffective heartbeats.

How Did the Medical Team Respond At Euro Cup Football?

Medical Team Attending To Eriksen

It goes without saying that had it not been for the well-trained and well-equipped medical team that sprung in action that day, we probably would have lost the young and bright midfielder. The response team started chest compressions within minutes of his collapse. They also applied a defibrillator, a device that delivers an electric shock to the chest aiming to restore a normal heartbeat. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, timely application of a defibrillator can boost a patient’s survival chance by 75%.

The heroes who saved the day, Morten and Anders Boesen, work for FC Copenhagen, who own and play at Parken, along with a public and a private hospital. Morten is the team doctor, while Anders is the stadium doctor. Morten eventually stated in his statement to the media that they had optimal working conditions, thanks to the team that surrounded them, including physio Morten Skjoldager, the pitch-side doctor, the stretcher team, the paramedics the doping control officer, and the players of Euro football 2020 who made a circle around Eriksen.

The Experts’ Opinion on Ericksen’s Health Crises

Medical Authorities Of UEFA

According to Cathy Campbell, Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine and President-Elect of the Canadian Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, she said ‘’it is a significant undertaking to be prepared to deal with different scenarios during a match. It is imperative for medical teams to be ready for anything at a moment’s notice’’.

She further added that knowing how to work a defibrillator is not enough, the whole team should be ready for action even after spending hours sitting watching matches. Keeping the medical team up for long days, weeks, and so forth is part of the job.

Campbell went on to assert that training should start weeks before the commencement of the tournament, and the medical team must get used to working with each other and learning all the big and small details of the pitch they are on. The UEFA medical guideline clearly states that medical teams on the pitch must have specialised medical equipment, including cardiac life saving drugs, within easy access. Be it a minor knee injury or a collapse on the field, the team should be in a position to deal with it. Campbell also devotes time to walking through the stands and behind-the-scenes areas, planning the bail-out options for every scenario- be it an evacuation if necessary or the identification of safe places for setting up medical equipment.

Speaking about Eriksen’s collapse amid the Euro 2020 match, Mary M. Newman, MS, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation President, has also specified that currently, only one of 10 victims survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. His life was saved only due to the immediate action by the team members and bystanders. There is a national non-profit organization called the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation that works towards building awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and how bystanders can have a life with some simple actions. This foundation has an active network of survivors and survivor families who are committed to educating people about these life-saving techniques. AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) are designed in a way that they can be used even without training. Any layperson can also take help from the instructions that these devices themselves provide.

A Well-Prepared Medical Team is The Need of the Hour

Medical Team's Swift Action To Revive Eriksen

A sports medical team should not be confined to learning only how to respond, but also when to respond. There are specific league rules indicating when medical teams can attend to such emergencies. For example, it can be controversial to interrupt the game without being signalled on by the referee. However, some leagues such as FIFA, have revised these regulations so that medical teams can rush to a player’s rescue if he has collapsed without coming into contact with a player or the ball. The incident reminded football fans of other football players who collapsed on the field.

In an unfortunate incident, Marc-Vivien Foe died during the 2003 Federations Cup in France. In all likelihood, this happened due to a lack of awareness of the need for speedy care. This was reinforced by Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Cardiology at St. George’s, University of London, who, in his statement to BBC Sport in 2013, expressed shock at the treatment received on the field. In another interview, he also mentioned that resuscitation should start within a minute and a half of someone going down. This, coupled with the use of the defibrillator within 3 minutes, can give the player a 70% chance of staying alive. However, Foe had to wait for six minutes with his eyes rolled back before attempts were made to restart his heart.

A tragic day in the history of FIFA, Foe’s death unfurled a series of changes that were introduced to minimise the risk of cardiac arrest on the field. Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer, confirmed to BBC Sport that this episode sparked a definite shift in on-field medical awareness, which made things such as examinations of players before a competition, training of medical teams in CPR and using defibrillators, and having emergency plans, were made an integral part of the game.

The public should learn how to recognise SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) and they can save a life with CPR and AEDs. By following the simple phrase of ‘Call-Push-Shock’, the bystander can remember to call 911, give CPR, and use an AED. Newman went on to say that the story of Mr. Eriksen is not as unusual as one might presume, and that many survivors have had a healthy track record with no known heart impairments. She stressed the importance of education and accessibility to AEDs wherever possible, including sports venues for kids and adults. As she puts it, SCA can strike anyone, anywhere, without warning.

Let’s hope due emphasis is given to on-field medical aid in sports, and no such incidents are repeated in the times to come.


Euro Cup 2020: What happened to Christian Eriksen? How are other teams paying tribute to him?

Christian Eriksen, considered to be one of the all-time best players of Denmark, is recovering after going through a mishap on the pitch against Finland. It was just the second day of Euro Cup 2020 when the midfielder experienced a potentially life-threatening medical emergency, which has unleashed profuse expressions of concern across the football community and beyond.

Christian Eriksen’s Cardiac Arrest During The UEFA Euro Cup 2020 Match | Image source:

Thankfully, he is recovering well, but what exactly happened to Eriksen? Read on to know more.

During Denmark’s Euro 2020 opening match against Finland at Parken Stadium on June 12, 2021, Christian Eriksen suddenly collapsed, after a cardiac arrest. One of the doctors from the team of medical professionals, Morten Boesen, who came to Eriksen’s aid on the pitch, explained that he could have succumbed to the cardiac arrest, but fortunately, the team of doctors could bring him back with cardiac resuscitation. According to media reports, the doctors are still uncertain as to how close they were to losing him. But what matters is, they got him back with defibrillation, which is way faster than expected.

Why this happened, still remains a mystery. Given that Eriksen has had minimal injuries in his entire professional career. In fact, he has treated us to some glorious performances for Ajax, Tottenham, and Inter. The game was in its 42nd minute, when Eriksen suddenly stumbled and collapsed on the ground, lying motionless. Needless to say, this prompted immediate action.

Besides some players from Denmark and Finland, referee Anthony Tylor too observed the grievousness of the situation and called for medical assistance. It was quite heartening to see how the Danish players of Euro football 2020 formed a shield around him, while the medical team carried out CPR and tried to resuscitate him with a defibrillator. This gesture on the part of the soccer team earned generous praises as the entire world saw how they stood up for their friend who was in a bad place and gave him the privacy he needed at that moment, even though the situation was scary and heartbreaking for them.

About an hour after this incident at Euro Cup 2020, there was official confirmation of Eriksen’s condition stabilising. It was also confirmed that he was awake, recovering in the hospital. The match between Denmark and Finland came to a halt for approximately 90 minutes. Eventually, the encounter came to an end with the Finns emerging with a 1-0 victory. Few days following this unfortunate incident, Eriksen sent out a message of gratitude through his social media channels, and also reassured his fans who were worried for him.

Simon Kjaer’s Help to Eriksen

Simon Kjaer Lending Support To Sabrina

Simon Kjaer Lending Support To Sabrina, Erickson’s Partner | Image source:

Simon Kjaer indeed exemplified what presence of mind on field looks like, particularly in the case of a medical emergency. He gauged the severity of the situation in just a few moments, and immediately helped adjust his teammate’s body position which might have helped avert further injury.

Eventually, when the medical professionals and doctors got in action, Kjaer led the other players in forming a shield around the scene, which was a thoughtful gesture to preserve their friend’s dignity. Besides, Kjaer along with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and few others, consoled Eriksen’s Sabrina Kvist Jensen, who was visibly devastated by the incident.

As They Say, The Show Must Go On!

Apparently, players from both the teams requested the UEFA Euro Cup 2020 to continue the game, despite the medical emergency. According to the head coach of Denmark Kasper Hjulmand, the match could either continue on the same day or would have been postponed to the following day. However, going by the statement of former Demark star Peter Schmeichel, father of Kasper, his country was given an ultimatum of either playing the game or accepting a 3-0 defeat.

Hjulmand eventually expressed in a press conference that this decision was a very tough one, given that the incident was life-threatening and the team could have lost their best friend. He further added that he was proud of the way the world responded to this episode. He feels that though it’s mostly about money, this incident truly demonstrated what football is all about- compassion and love.

Will Eriksen Return To The Field Again?

Eriksen’s recovery selfie - UEFA Euro 2020

Eriksen’s recovery selfie for fans | image source:

Post this incident at the UEFA Euro 2020, whether Christian Eriksen will be able to play competitive football again, is a question that football enthusiasts all across the world are grappling with. Having suffered from a cardiac emergency, he was fitted with a heart-starting device known as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Patients of cardiac attack suffer from rhythmic disturbances, which makes this device highly crucial.

Specialists, both nationally and internationally, have recommended the same treatment, and Christian Eriksen has accepted it. Not known to many, former Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba had also suffered from an on-pitch cardiac arrest and had to retire thereafter. Former Stuttgarter Kickers player Daniel Engelbrecht also had to undergo the same fate, while on the other hand, Netherlands international Daley Blind continued his stint on the field, despite being fitted with an ICD in 2019.

How Other Teams Played Tribute

Fan’s supporting Erickson - UEFA Euro 2020

Fan’s supporting Erickson with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ Anthem | Image source:

While Eriksen was recovering in a hospital in the Danish capital, at a distance of not more than a few hundred yards from the Parken stadium, a unique tribute was paid to him during the match. It began in the form of an emotional serenade for Eriksen, which brought together both sets of fans for a rendition of terrace anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

This was complemented by yet another thoughtful gesture at Euro Cup 2020, wherein a pre-match message of support for Eriksen was paraded on the field, in the form of a giant version of his No. 10 jersey. Simon Kajaer was seen in a signed shirt with Eriksen’s name, number and “Good Recovery” on the back.

The match, in its very starting moments, also witnessed a glorious goal by Poulsen, and amidst celebrations of the home crowd, a planned tribute for Eriksen was executed. Just as the match clock showed 10 minutes, the same number that Eriksen sports on his jersey, the ball was kicked out of play. Following this, players from Denmark and Belgium led the fans inside the stadium. There was an emotional round of applause for Christian Eriksen.

The Parken stands lit up with a variety of banners and flags dedicated to Eriksen, including one that read, “The whole of Denmark is with you, Christian”. Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who plays alongside Eriksen at Inter Milan, dedicated his opening goal against Russia to his teammate. His shout “Chris, I love you” down the camera lens will surely go down the history of football as one of the most touching moments!

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and pray for Eriksen’s quick recovery, so that he springs back to action on field soon, not only for Euro Cup football, but beyond! To know more about Euro Cup 2020, visit Fun88 India for all sports betting action!