Football

‘Christian Eriksen must have defibrillator removed for Inter return’: Italian technical scientific committee confirms

Christian Eriksen has to remove his defibrillator in order to resume his playing career at Serie A. The attacking midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest on the second day of Euro 2020 in a game against Finland. The 29-year-old has been fitted with an ICD since then to regulate further disturbances in his heartbeat, but Serie A officials say Christian Eriksen would need to prove that he is completely clear of any health concerns in order to resume his professional career at San Siro.

Italy’s technical scientific committee have said Christian Eriksen would need to have his defibrillator removed before returning to competitive action for Inter Milan.

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What has been said about Christian Eriksen’s situation

Francesco Baconer, a member of the Italian FA’s technical scientific committee, told: “Christian Eriksen cannot be given the all-clear to play in Italy. If the player has the defibrillator removed, therefore confirming the pathology can be resolved, then he can return to play for Inter.”

Danish team doctor Morten Boesen said after Christian Eriksen was released from hospital on June 18: “This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances. Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.”
The Denmark star suffered cardiac arrest during his country’s opening game at Euro 2020. His team-mates and the medical professionals acted swiftly and saved his life. Captain Simon Kjaer came to the rescue, performing CPR and putting his teammate into the recovery position until he could receive first aid from the medical staff.

It may have ultimately saved his life, as Eriksen was soon rushed to hospital where he was fitted with a heart-starting defibrillator. He was discharged from hospital within a week, but it remains unclear when – or if – he will make a return to the pitch. The player has now been fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to regulate his heartbeat but Serie A officials want the 29-year-old completely free of health concerns before allowing him to continue his career at San Siro. Eriksen played no further part in the tournament but it could have been so much worse.

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According to Italian FA: “In Italy we have very conservative guidelines regarding the health of players,” the doctor said. “Christian Eriksen is not eligible to play in Serie A. If the player has the defibrillator removed, therefore confirming the pathology can be resolved, then he can return to play for Inter.”

Defibrillators and pacemakers can be removed, but the procedure is rare and risky. Doctors would only sanction a removal in Eriksen’s case if they were 100% sure his cardiac arrest was an isolated incident, and it seems likely to be a while before that happens.

Eriksen’s Inter teammate Stefan de Vrij has called for patience, saying he ‘needs time’ before a potential return is on the table.

“I spoke to Eriksen when it happened,” he remarked to media. “I’ve been thinking about him for so long. Then I didn’t disturb him anymore because he must be receiving many messages. He needs time to regain fitness.”

Ajax and Netherlands defender Daley Blind has shown that performances at the highest level is possible with a defibrillator. The Dutch defender has continued to perform for club and country since being fitted with an ICD device in 2019.

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