• Premier League

Spurs players request heart checks

ESPN staff
March 19, 2012

The entire Tottenham squad have requested heart checks following Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Bolton midfielder Muamba is in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital after he collapsed during the FA Cup quarter-final between the two sides.

The game was abandoned shortly before half-time, with players from both sides visibly distressed following Muamba's collapse. And the Spurs players have requested that they be checked to see if they have any long-term heart defects.

"The players have all demanded cardiac screening today," sports cardiologist Sanjay Sharma told Sky News "That involves taking a history relating to cardiac symptoms, which include chest pain during exertion or breath which is disproportionate to the amount of exercise being performed and blackouts, (and) asking about a family history because many of these conditions that can cause cardiac arrest are hereditary.

"We then perform a cardiac examination and following that we do an ECG (electrocardiogram) which is an electrical tracing of the heart which looks for electric faults of the heart and a cardiac ultrasound which looks at heart muscle problems or problems with the heart values."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp backed the move, saying: "Fortunately, we already had a cardiologist visiting the training ground today for routine screening, so we are able to offer any player who wishes to be tested for the purpose of reassurance an additional opportunity to be screened."

Redknapp is aware some players may take time to get over the upset and confirmed the club would offer all the help required.

"What happened on Saturday to Fabrice Muamba was a shock to everyone," Redknapp told Tottenham's website. "It is possible that the effects of this could hit some quicker than others and, despite these difficult circumstances, we all have to pull together and carry on with our season.

"We will be providing players with whatever support they need in order to help them move on from what has happened, while obviously always keeping Fabrice at the forefront of our minds and willing him to make a recovery."

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