Do specific dental problems predispose to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death on the sports field?

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Henny A. Solleveld PhD

Sudden deaths on the sports field due to cardiac dysrhythmia are uncommon but have far-reaching effects. Famous star players, such as Marc Vivien-Foe (28) have died as a result of it in recent years. Vivien-Foe of Manchester City suffered death from cardiac arrest during an international match for his country Cameroon. The English professional football player Fabrice Muamba of Bolton Wanderers also collapsed during a FA cup match against Tottenham Hotspur (2012). He also suffered cardiac arrest. After a 72 minute (!) revival Muamba was taken to hospital in a critical condition and his story became what was possibly the most discussed case of cardiac arrest ever. It certainly ended with a miracle. Muamba will never be able to play at the professional level again but at least he survived. The most amazing thing is that Muamba did not acquire any lasting brain damage. Medical doctors were unable to find any cardiac muscle abnormalities. Why his heart suddenly stopped working during the match in North London remains a mystery.

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