Sharks doc: Take care clubs!

2012-10-23 19:52

Durban - New Zealand rugby player Hoani MacDonald's heart attack during a provincial rugby match at the weekend has sent a strong reminder to clubs.

It underlined the need to have trained and equipped medics at all rugby matches, and for players to undergo regular screening, Sharks team doctor, Ewoudt van der Linde, has said.

MacDonald was reportedly on the mend, having recently come out of an induced coma, and had been moved from ICU to a coronary care ward.

"Something like this can happen so quickly, but the chance of a cardiac-related incident happening can also be hugely reduced if sportsmen and women, particularly our youngsters still at school, undergo regular pre-season screenings," Van der Linde said.

"Prevention is always the best cure and it is always far easier to manage a possible tragic situation if detected early, then to try to deal with the problem once an incident has occurred.

"Just a quick visit to your local cardiologist and a couple of tests later and you'll will be able to rest easy in the knowledge that you are clear of any heart-related conditions," he added.

MacDonald, a former Highlanders and Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby player, suffered pitch-side cardiac arrest during the first half of Southland's clash with Counties-Manukau in Auckland, New Zealand, over the weekend.

Despite physio Karl McDonald's gestures suggesting MacDonald could have been concussed, a sudden loss of consciousness minutes later signalled things were far worse than initially thought.

MacDonald's condition continued to deteriorate and he suffered a seizure and further loss of consciousness before going into cardiac arrest just minutes after being stretchered off the field.

After reportedly "flat-lining" twice, a defibrillator was successfully used to revive MacDonald after almost 10 minutes of CPR and a shot of adrenaline.

Once stabilised, MacDonald was rushed to Middlemore Hospital where he was put into an induced coma.


  • godfrey.welman - 2012-10-23 20:50

    Wishing him a speedy recovery.

  • bertus.leroux.14 - 2012-10-23 20:54

    This just goes to show that rugby players are being played into the ground for money...when will they realize that it's not necessary the amount of rugby we want to see but the lesser rugby and the better rugby being played..?

      andrew.pottow - 2012-10-23 23:45

      This has nothing to do with player work load. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a healthy heart does not fatigue and as such cannot be overworked over a period of time like other muscle and soft tissue can. This sort of thing happens thanks to a heart related condition that the player had, anyone with such a condition may suffer the same fate when the heart is put under any sort of pressure from exercise.

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-10-24 00:28

      As far back as the eighties, the second teams of Old Selbornians and Cambridge in East London had three young players all thirty two or younger callapse and die!!! The strange thing about this wasn't only the fact that young fit men died, it was that they all died while these two teams were playing each other on three seperate occasions years apart!! One died on the field while I was reffing, (Lock) one callapsed in the tunnel to the change rooms(Scrumhalf) and the third in the change rooms (Front row) my wifes brother- inlaw!!! The young lock who died during my game had the medics plus a doctor attending him to no avail!!!!

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