Why a footballer died in Moscow during a match of amateur teams, a doctor’s comment


On Saturday, June 26, a tragedy struck in Moscow – a young footballer died at the LFL championship match. We wrote about the details earlier.

“He was dying on a friend’s lap.” In Moscow, a football player died right on the field

Especially for the “Championship”, the former doctor of “Spartak” Mikhail Vartapetov told what could have happened to the young footballer and why even a nearby ambulance does not guarantee one hundred percent salvation. A word to the doctor.


“Unfortunately, such cases have not only become more frequent, but rather have become more resonant, since they concern young guys,” Vartapetov began. – Sudden death during exercise and sports is the so-called cardiac death, that is, death as a result of an irregular heart rhythm or due to myocardiopathy. In simple terms, this is cardiac arrest. According to statistics, there are at least five sad cases per one million practitioners. It seems to many that such cases suddenly appeared in our life, but, unfortunately, this is not so – they have always existed. Sad statistics have existed for many years, and so far there is no tendency to decrease it. The question arises: what to do? It is necessary to educate the population correctly and competently, because you cannot put an ambulance near every sportsman – this is unrealistic.

Photo: Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images

As for the weather, 28-29 degrees above zero is a serious temperature for disrupting the water-electrolyte and salt balance. But when there is no direct exposure to the sun, that is, sunstroke is excluded, the heat is not a serious obstacle and cause for loss of consciousness, especially for sudden death.

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Based on the words of teammates and friends, it can be assumed that the guy died due to sudden cardiac arrest. Why is it more common among young people? There are two reasons at once: firstly, in young children and adolescents this is more often manifested due to under-examination or even due to the absence of any examinations, and secondly, young age in itself becomes a risk factor (arises from the first reason) … Was he only 17 years old? I assume that he did not undergo any in-depth medical examinations. Even a teammate of the deceased said that they did not have medical examinations.

As a former ambulance worker in the resuscitation team, I have provided this kind of resuscitation measures dozens of times. Unfortunately, resuscitation, even if you are a professional and arrived in a well-equipped resuscitation car and you have everything at your fingertips, is far from always successful. We must understand that the minutes and seconds that are before the arrival of an ambulance are often decisive.

If there is a health worker on the spot who has at least minimal experience in carrying out this kind of resuscitation, then the first thing he should do is determine whether this is a true cardiac arrest. Or it’s fainting. Depending on this, further actions take place. In case of fainting, one algorithm of actions, in case of clinical death, is completely different. Immediately it is necessary to determine the absence or presence of respiration and pulsation in the large arteries, the reaction of the pupil to light. If the assumption of clinical death is confirmed, then immediate resuscitation begins, which should be carried out continuously until the effect appears.

It is a matter of honor for any employee working with athletes to be able to carry out the initial complex of resuscitation measures. The organization of the competition and the training of all the personnel raise questions. How long did the ambulance take? If we are talking about an ambulance, then 15-20 minutes is a good indicator for Moscow.

We have no medical details, but the situation is certainly similar to what happened with Eriksen. The only difference is that at Euro, the resuscitation was started immediately, practically in a matter of seconds, and in the LFL match, apparently, there were problems. If we are talking about clinical death and complete cardiac and respiratory arrest, then the count goes to minutes. After five minutes of delay, there is practically no chance of survival.

“This is the rarest case.” Doctor explains why Eriksen’s life was saved on the field

When Eriksen was rescued, the doctors had a defibrillator to restore the heart rhythm. But it is absolutely not necessary for every doctor who conducts resuscitation to have this apparatus with him. The primary resuscitation complex begins with people who surround the victim …

Understand that everyone doesn’t have a defibrillator in their pocket. Resuscitation begins with the fact that the victim fits correctly, his airways are cleared, the jaw is pushed forward, after which artificial ventilation of the lungs begins by mouth-to-mouth method and closed heart massage, which continues until the arrival of specialists. Moreover, specialists who arrived in an ambulance with a defibrillator do not always use it – it depends on what they see on the screen of the cardioscope monitor.

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More recently, an important document was adopted, proposed by the RFU Medical Committee, where it was said that not only doctors and professionals should carry out resuscitation measures, but also all officials who are present at the competition: referees, team personnel, stadium staff. If we all tackle this problem together, then the sad statistics will shift from the spot towards improvement. “

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