Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest during a match has prompted the English Premier League to see if any improvements can be made to medical tests for footballers and the treatment available during games.
While the Bolton midfielder remains in a serious condition in intensive care, he began breathing independently again and speaking on Monday, two days after collapsing during an FA Cup quarterfinal at Tottenham.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said on Tuesday that “everyone comes out of this with huge credit”, particularly the medics at Tottenham who immediately raced onto the pitch to try to resuscitate the 23-year-old Muamba.
But there will be a full review of the treatment available at White Hart Lane for Muamba and the medical checks that footballers receive.
“Incidents and events shape policy, shape developments, shape progress,” Scudamore said. “We will look at every aspect … if there are ways and means of making it better in the future. We will do everything we can to reduce to the point of elimination, if we possible can, things like that.”
An ambulance was on hand on Saturday at White Hart Lane following criticism from then-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in 2006 about the time it took for an ambulance to reach Reading’s ground after goalkeeper Peter Cech’s head was seriously injured.
“Jose Mourinho has made some strident comments about the X minutes it took for the ambulance to come,” Scudamore told a sport industry breakfast in London. “It was a wake-up call, just things like having a dedicated ambulance for players and match officials.”
For two days, amid an outpouring of global support, Muamba remained in critical condition in intensive care in a heart attack unit in London, and his long-term prognosis was uncertain.
But the Congo-born player made progress throughout Monday, with medics no longer describing his condition as “critical” by the evening.
“He is continuing to show signs of improvement this evening,” Bolton and the London Chest Hospital said in a joint statement. “He is now able to breathe independently without the aid of a ventilator. He has also been able to recognize family members and respond to questions appropriately.
“These are all positive signs of progress. However, his condition remains serious and the medical staff in intensive care will continue to monitor and treat him.” — AP