Premier League plans medical review for Muamba

AFP, Tuesday 20 Mar 2012

Medical staff gave Muamba life-saving treatment on the pitch

Fabrice Muamba
Chelsea and England soccer player Ashley Cole (R) arrives at the London Chest Hospital in east London March 19, 2012. Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba was critically ill in hospital after collapsing on the pitch during an FA Cup quarter-final soccer match at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. (Photo: REUTERS)

The English Premier League will review its medical procedures after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, chief executive Peter Scudamore said Tuesday.

Scudamore praised officials and medical staff for saving Muamba's life during the FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham on Saturday and said he wanted to ensure other players receive the best possible care.

Experts say the swift treatment that 23-year-old Muamba received when his heart stopped probably prevented him from suffering brain damage.

The level of care he received after collapsing at White Hart Lane owed much to lessons learned when Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech suffered a fractured skull five years ago.

Chelsea's then-manager Jose Mourinho was heavily critical of the delay in Cech being transferred to hospital and an official complaint from the Blues prompted a review by the Premier League and the Football Association.

That led to measures being introduced that included an ambulance at stadia for the exclusive use of players, and club doctors attending every game.

Speaking to a sports business breakfast in London, Scudamore said: "Incidents and events shape policy, shape developments, shape progress. What we will certainly be doing is looking at every aspect of what happened.

"If there are ways and means of making it better in the future—just like we did in 2006-07 following the Petr Cech incident—we will do everything we can to make sure we reduce to the point of elimination, if we possibly can, things like that.

"There are no guarantees but we will do whatever we can to improve."

Scudamore admitted the Cech incident had been "a wake-up call" for the Premier League.

He added of Muamba: "It's been a difficult three days for everybody involved in the game, particularly those closest to Fabrice.

"The whole of the last three days, we've played out lots of scenarios, clearly.

"Let's hope, God willing, that the progress he's making continues to be made and that he makes as decent a recovery as he can.

"In some ways, his life, if it is saved—and let's hope it has been saved—is as a result of the things a lot of us put in place after what happened with Petr Cech."

Friends of Muamba who visited him in hospital on Monday, three days after he collapsed, said he was speaking and moving.

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