Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta continues to be in intensive care as he collapsed in a match against Getafe. He has been diagnosed with a cardiac arrest caused by bouts of severe ventricular arrhythmia.
Clinical studies have shown that endurance athletes who suddenly collapse have structural defects of the right ventricle resulting in reduced ejection fractions (blood flow). There is a slim chance that Puerta maybe able to come back to the soccer field but he will have to wear a cardioverter fibrillator that can shock the heart back into beating again.
So how worrisome is this condition exactly?
However, Heidbuchel added that ventricular arrhythmias aren't common, and endurance athletes don't need to worry about them too much.
"But they need to be vigilant and honest with themselves: If they have a family history of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), arrhythmias, sudden death or other heart complaints, or if they have experienced exercise-induced light-headedness, palpitations or fainting, then they should see their doctor for an evaluation," Heidbuchel said.