How CAN Christian Eriksen still play football? Danish star has a matchbox-sized defibrillator pacing his heart after suffering life-threatening cardiac arrest last time he played for the Danes in a major tournament

Christian Eriksen, the Danish footballer, played for his national side today against Tunisia, marking his first major tournament appearance since collapsing on the pitch 18 months ago.

In May 2021, during the first game of Denmark’s Championship European against Finland in Copenhagen, he experienced a cardiac arrest in the 42nd minute.

Describing the incident, Eriksen mentioned that he was ‘unconscious for five minutes’. He was resuscitated and quickly taken to the hospital.

Despite some believing that a 30-year-old made a remarkable return to the Premier League with Brentford in February this year, thanks to ICD, a medical condition that was believed to end their career.

The midfielder, known as the top-flight footballer from Manchester United, is believed to be at risk of cardiac arrest at some point in the future, and therefore has been fitted with a matchbox-sized device implanted in him.

It works by sending electrical shocks to the heart to make it start pumping again — effectively rebooting it when it fails.

Today, Kasper Hjulmand was described as the heartbeat of the team by Manager. He was in the starting line-up for Denmark’s first game against Tunisia in the World Cup in Qatar.

While playing Finland in the first half of the opening game of the Euros in summer 2021, Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest.

This occurs when there is a problem with the electrical signals from the organ, which prevents the heart from beating altogether.

Individuals will perish within minutes unless they receive CPR treatment.

His teammates asked for assistance, resulting in healthcare professionals performing CPR on Eriksen and employing an automated external defibrillator to resuscitate his heart.

The match was temporarily suspended and Eriksen was taken off the pitch on a stretcher. Officials confirmed that he was stable and awake about an hour later, and the match was re-started.

Regular cardiac screenings throughout his professional journey had Eriksen, who affirmed that he lacks any familial background of cardiac issues. Every player in the Premier League and Football League clubs in England undergo comprehensive tests when they ink their initial contract, typically at the ages of 18 and 20.

In the upcoming days, apprehensions about the disorder resurfacing, he had experienced a heart attack and was implanted with an ICD, but it was subsequently verified.

When the heart is beating potentially dangerously or abnormally, ICDs can sense it. These devices are placed under the skin. Usually, they help deliver an electrical shock to the heart and assist in returning it to a normal rhythm.

As recently as ten years ago, physicians cautioned individuals with ICDs against participating in vigorous physical activities.

Over four years, US researchers conducted a study to get to the bottom of this advice and monitored 440 sportspeople with ICDs.

The tenth athlete, who had received a shock from their device while playing sports, was suggesting that they had suffered cardiac arrest, as shown by the results.

There were no athletes who died or suffered complications, suggesting a low risk of exercise for those fitted with devices such as ICDs.

However, Eriksen had to leave his former team Milan Inter because the Italian Football Association does not allow leagues, whether professional or amateur, to be played with fitted devices.

Despite the anticipation of his retirement by many, he consented to join the Premier League team Brentford earlier this year.

With his team trailing 2-0, he subsequently made his comeback to the world of football in February, entering the match in the 52nd minute against Newcastle United.

Eriksen was subsequently recruited in a three-year agreement with Manchester United in July.

Heart attacks occur when there is an abrupt disruption in the blood flow to a portion of the heart, which is slightly distinct from cardiac arrests.

Cardiac arrest can be caused by various factors, including heart disease, heart inflammation, and a hereditary heart condition.

Athletes who unknowingly possess underlying heart conditions can induce cardiac arrest during high levels of physical exertion, whereas exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular well-being.

In March 2012, Fabrice Muamba, who was 34 years old at the time, experienced a cardiac arrest while participating in a match for Bolton Wanderers. He had no pulse for a duration of 78 minutes, similar to Eriksen’s situation. However, he managed to fully recuperate.

However, Marc-Vivienne Foe, who played for Cameroon and West Ham United, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest when he was playing for his national team in Colombia in June 2003.