Thursday 17th June 2021
“Are you with us again?”
This is how the German emergency doctor experienced the Eriksen collapse
The pictures of the collapse of the Danish national player Christian Eriksen at the European Football Championship moved millions of people. A German emergency doctor also fights for the 29-year-old’s life in the minutes that follow. Now he tells for the first time how he experienced the mission.
Four days after the heart drama of the Danish national player Christian Eriksen, the German emergency doctor spoke up for the first time, who brought the 29-year-old back to life on the stadium lawn in Copenhagen. In an interview with the newspapers of the Funke media group, the “doping control officer” and intensive care physician Jens Kleinefeld from Cologne reports how he experienced the operation.
Kleinefeld describes that after just a few minutes of cardiac massage, the defibrillator was used and the electric shock was triggered once. Kleinefeld: “About 30 seconds later the player opened his eyes and I was able to speak to him directly. That was a very moving moment because the chances of success in everyday medical emergencies are much lower.”
Eriksen looked at him and Kleinefeld asked: “Well, are you back with us? And he replied: Yes, I’m with you again. And: Damn, I’m only 29 years old.” The emergency physician continued: “I knew then that the brain was not damaged and that it is completely restored.” According to Kleinefeld, while the resuscitation was still on the square, an access was made and a so-called antiarrhythmic was administered once.
Eriksen responded successfully to commands in the stadium and was fully conscious. However, it took time to equip the patient with all monitoring instruments for safe transport to the clinic.
Kleinefeld continues in the interview: “A medically checked professional athlete is usually a kind of ‘short circuit’ that triggers ventricular fibrillation. The electric shock then gives the decisive impulse that the heart beats again. Somebody like that is – different than with normal patients, for example with previous illnesses – the probability of the heart stopping again is minimal. I was still 99 percent certain that it would arrive at the hospital stable and that it would remain stable there. ”
The 29-year-old Eriksen collapsed on the field last Saturday during the Danes’ first European Championship game against Finland (0-1) and had to be resuscitated. He has been in hospital since that evening and, according to the Danish Association, his condition is “stable and good”. But it is still too early to leave the hospital or even watch a European Championship game in the stadium.