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Cardiac arrest in a young athlete

Dr Michael Papadakis, Sports Cardiology Quiz Section Editor

The case


  • 20-year-old black football player collapsed during a football match on the pitch.
  • He did not have any previous sinister cardiac symptoms.
  • He was not on any regular medications and there was no family history of premature sudden cardiac death or cardiomyopathy.
  • Bystander CPR was commenced immediately.
  • Paramedics arrived within 7 minutes and found the patient in ventricular fibrillation.
  • Sinus rhythm was restored after a single shock by automated external defibrillator.
  • On arrival at the hospital his GCS was 14, maximum Troponin I was 139 ug/l (normal <0.05 ug/l)

His 12-lead ECG is presented below. 


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Note: The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be accepted by others. While every attempt is made to keep the information up to date, there is always going to be a lag in updating information. The reader is encouraged to read this in conjunction with appropriate ESC Guidelines. The material on this page is for educational purposes and is not for use as a definitive management strategy in the care of patients. Quiz material in the site are only examples and do not guarantee outcomes from formal examinations.


Notes to editor

 Dr Vincent Gabus, SpR in Cardiology, St George’s university of London
Dr Michael Papadakis, Lecturer in cardiology, St George’s university of London
Prof Sanjay Sharma, Professor of clinical cardiology, St George’s university of London