It is a miracle Eriksen survived, claims his former doctor at Spurs

Christian Eriksen’s ex-Tottenham doctor claims it’s a MIRACLE he survived ‘probable cardiac arrest’ after collapsing in Euro 2020 game… and warns no fitness tests are ‘foolproof’ in football

  • Christian Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s match with Finland on Saturday
  • The 29-year-old went to ground unchallenged and needed immediate CPR 
  • Professor Sanjay Sharma, his former Spurs doctor, claims he had a cardiac arrest
  • The medical expert claimed Eriksen had no prior heart concerns at Tottenham 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

Christian Eriksen probably suffered a cardiac arrest but staged a remarkable recovery, according to his former cardiologist at Tottenham Hotspur.

Professor Sanjay Sharma, who put the former Tottenham midfielder through an annual battery of tests between 2013 and 2020, said Eriksen had no known history of heart problems – but that no tests were ‘foolproof’.

He said the 29-year-old Denmark star appeared to have recovered ‘very quickly’ given reports that his heart had stopped for five minutes.

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in the Euro 2020 clash against Finland, according to his former doctor

Professor Sanjay Sharma (left) was Eriksen’s cardiologist during his Premier League days

‘If they did aggressive CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] on him and if they did have to use a defibrillator, then I would call this a primary cardiac arrest as a result of the heart going into a bad rhythm,’ Prof Sharma told The Mail on Sunday.

‘What I saw was that he ran towards the ball, completely lost his legs – clearly at that point something had gone terribly wrong – becomes floppy, hits the ground and starts fitting.’

He said the short fit was probably the result of the brain being starved of oxygen, adding: ‘The moment you hit the ground to the moment they get your heart started again is known as downtime. The longer your downtime, the worse your outlook.

Reports claimed that Eriksen’s heart stopped for five minutes on the pitch in Copenhagen 

‘For every minute that they don’t get you back, if you haven’t got good CPR, then the chance of you surviving goes down by about seven per cent.

‘Normally with somebody who’s had a downtime of five or six minutes, if they get them back, they’re in such a bad way that they have to be ventilated, with a tube going down their throat helping them to breathe.

‘But remember, Eriksen is a very young fit man. He is not like the elderly people who have a cardiac arrest outside Sainsbury’s. This is a guy with fantastic circulation.’

In the minutes before confirmation came that Eriksen had survived and was in a stable condition, Prof Sharma said he had been ‘praying’ he would pull through.

Professor Sharma was ‘praying’ that Eriksen would come through on Saturday afternoon

He explained that CPR keeps blood – and thereby oxygen – flowing to vital organs, and in particular the brain, while the heart cannot pump. The defibrillator is used to restart the heart.

Prof Sharma, a consultant cardiologist for the charity Cardiac Risk In The Young, said he had carried out annual electrocardiograms (ECGs) and ultrasound checks on Eriksen during his time at Tottenham to scan for abnormalities.

The footballer, who now plays for the Italian side Inter Milan, was also put through ‘maximal exercise tests’ to reveal any problems such as inherited heart muscle issues and electrical signalling faults.

‘From the day we signed him it was my job to screen him, and we tested him every year,’ said Prof Sharma. ‘So certainly his tests up to 2019 were completely normal with no obvious underlying cardiac fault. Every single year he was tested. I can vouch for that because I did the tests.’

Professor Sharma was Eriksen’s doctor when the 29-year-old played for Tottenham

When he heard that Eriksen had collapsed, Prof Sharma immediately went through the player’s test results again. ‘I thought, “Oh my God? Is there something there that we didn’t see?” But I have looked at all the test results and everything looked perfect.’

He said it was possible that Eriksen had picked up a silent heart problem since leaving Tottenham in January 2020, although Inter Milan would have carried out similar checks.

‘Obviously we’ve had Covid. Some footballers may have had sub-clinical Covid infection, which may have resulted in scarring of the heart,’ said Prof Sharma.  

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