The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder collapsed on the field just before halftime at Tottenham on Saturday. Initial attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful, and his heart started beating on its own again only later in the hospital.
For two days, amid an outpouring of global support, Muamba remained in critical condition in intensive care in a heart attack unit, 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."
At Tottenham, players were due to undergo tests for potential heart defects, with cardiologist Sanjay Sharma saying "the players have all demanded cardiac screening" at a planned routine visit on Monday.
"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," Sharma said.
"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."
Clevelandmo wrote:Great news that Muamba is improving, I hope this means his survival is certain.
I think the screening issue is a really difficult one. Ryan Shay died during the Olympic trials for the marathon yet he had been cleared by a doctor just months prior, despite having a known heart condition. Also athletes commonly have enlarged hearts and the symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, that could alert a doctor to a potential life threatening heart condition are something elite athletes are more prone to ignore. So the diagnosis becomes a difficult, nebulous one in some cases. I read that the Italian government instituted mandatory ECGs for teen athletes and they significantly reduced the instances of sudden cardiac arrest within that group. However, 1 out of 50 Italian teens were required to quit sports as a result of the screening. The American Heart Assoc. (or one of those heart groups) said if we were to do something similar we would end up asking 2,000 athletes to give up sports for every life saved and they are reluctant to do that. They say improved screening is needed.
Oh and I also read that you would have to do the screening regularly because these risky heart conditions may not manifest themselves until a certain age - what's there at 22 yrs of age may not have been at 19.
Ryan Shay is certainly a case in which the running community holds a big interest, since there hasn't been anything conclusive to determine the source of his death. His heart was enlarged, and been so since he was a teenager. He had x-rays done of his at 14 from pneumonia and again a couple of years later after a car crash. His heart had increased quite a bit in size between those years. His large heart was the condition that articles following his death mention. But Athlete's heart is very common in endurance athletes, and can be confused with serious heart disease on an ECG, such as HCM. But an athlete having a large heart is not in itself fatal and follow up testing can rule out HCM and other defects.
It was determined that Ryan did not have HCM. Ryan's coroner report found "patchy fibrosis" from an undetermined cause. And the scaring led to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia...if I understand the report and doctor's explanations properly. Doctors have speculated that the fibrosis (scaring) was likely due to the pneumonia or some other viral infection earlier in his life. Before the coroner's report quite of few runner's were speculating that he may have doped, and that led to his heart attack, but his toxicology reports were clean according to his father. I side with the docs and not the conspiracy theorists.
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