Timely intervention saves 17-year-old footballer after heart attack

Health experts recommend that youngsters also need to be cautious about their heart health. Any sign of stress and uneasiness should not be ignored and must be followed by preventive check-ups and consultation

Timely intervention saves 17-year-old footballer after heart attack

In March 2017, a local footballer Venkatesh (34) died following a massive heart attack in Bengaluru and in May, a 17-year Belgian footballer Joel Lobanzo, who played for Royal Antwerp, had also suffered a cardiac arrest during training, met the same fate.

Unlike these two footballers, a district level 17-year-old Mumbai footballer was lucky. He suffered a major heart attack while playing but timely medical intervention and the quick response of doctors at a super speciality hospital in Mumbai saved his life. He will be back on field after few months.

A 17-year-old boy, an active district level football player, Ramesh Jogelkar (name changed) , suffered  a sudden heart attack while playing and was rushed to the emergency unit of Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital. A teetotaller and non-smoker, Ramesh had no other health ailments such as diabetes or hypertension which could have led to the attack.

“It happened all of a sudden. Ramesh was playing football and suddenly he experienced severe chest pain, back ache, vomiting and respiratory distress. We rushed him to the emergency department of the hospital. He had complained about breathlessness while playing a month back as well. For this he took antacids and oral pain killers. We do not have any family history of coronary artery disease (CAD), hence, the possibility of a heart attack was not in our mind at all, but this came as a big shock for us,” said Subhash Jogelkar (name changed), father of Ramesh.

He added, “My son was lucky to get timely medical attention from experienced experts at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital. His life was saved and we hope he can play football again. He dislikes smoking and being a sports person, was cautious about his diet, lifestyle and other habits. We are very grateful to the hospital for their quick response to the situation.”

While in the emergency room, Ramesh went through series of tests and investigations including ECG which showed myocardial infarction (heart attack). He was unstable with fast heart rate, low blood pressure and laboured breathing.

“Further examination revealed that he was in cardiogenic shock (which is a life threatening condition) for which he was electively put on ventilator and an intra-aortic balloon pump was inserted to support his heart function as the heart pumping was low,” said Dr Harshad Limaye – Sr. Consultant, Internal Medicine, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.

“Coronary angiography revealed total thrombotic occlusion (containing blood clots) of mid Left anterior descending artery (LAD) which was tackled using thrombus aspiration and dilatation with a balloon and intentionally we avoided putting a stent in view of his young age and it was technically challenging and very demanding procedure in view of young patients presenting with severe cardiogenic shock,” Dr Salil Shirodkar, Sr. Consultant, Cardiology, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.

Later the patient was shifted to the cardiac intensive care unit for further monitoring and subsequently his vital parameters improved. It was timely intervention and attention of the entire team of experts that saved the young footballer’s life.

After a few days, he was discharged without any morbidity. Ramesh is now stable and is on the road to recovery, much to the relief of his parents.. However, his friends on the field will have to wait for a few months to see him in action again.