An emergency doctor who treated Denmark’s Christian Eriksen has spoken about the moment the player regained consciousness after his cardiac arrest.
The midfielder collapsed during his country’s Euros opener against Finland and Jens Kleinfeld raced onto the pitch from the stands to help save his life.
The doctor was watching the match after taking part in a session with the medical team earlier that day. He has opened up about seeing the medical staff struggle with the situation and so intervened.
Kleinfeld told Bild: “I was in the stands on the opposite side as he collapsed. At first I didn’t think anything of it. But then I saw how the Danish team doctor was acting in quite a hectic manner. I recognised that it was no normal injury.
“The players had their heads in their hands. At which point I gave the sideline team a sign and they ran on to the pitch. They had a defibrillator with them. I then told my colleagues I was sitting with in the stands: ‘We have to go on to the pitch.’”
He then went on to talk about how he helped to resuscitate the 29-year-old, saying: “Then I took control. We gave him electric shocks and continued with the heart massage.
“He [Danish team doctor] initially failed to grasp the extent of the situation. When you start a resuscitation you need to do it as quickly as possible. But the team doctors are mainly treating many other injuries, which is why it’s more difficult for them to immediately recognise sudden cardiac death.
“That was clear to me when I saw them trying to pull his tongue out of his throat. That’s not how you save a life. A minimal overflexion of the head is completely sufficient.”
Kleinfeld also told of the emotional moment Eriksen regained consciousness.
He added: “He opened his eyes and spoke to me. I asked him, in English: ‘Are you back again?’ He said: ‘Yes, I am here.’ And then he said: ‘Oh s**t, I’ve only just turned 29 years old.’
“I told him that everything was now OK and he was not in danger any more. He understood everything immediately and straight away put his arm on his chest.”
Eriksen is now stable in hospital and it was confirmed by Dane team doctor Morten Boesen on Thursday that they player will have a heart starter fitted.
The procedure does not necessarily spell the end to Eriksen’s playing career as the Netherlands’ Daley Blind was fitted with one last year and has since returned to football.
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