Doctors who rushed to Piermario Morosini’s aid on the pitch claim the presence of a defibrillator “could not have saved him.”
The 25-year-old collapsed during today’s Pescara-Livorno Serie B match and was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
Some reports suggest the cause of death may have been an aneurysm, but even more are discussing the delay in getting treatment. A traffic police car was parked in the wrong place, blocking off the ambulance’s entrance to the pitch area, so Pescara and Livorno players were seen forcibly pulling the stretcher through.
“When there is a cardiac arrest, which is what Morosini was having, for at least the first couple of minutes you must do CPR. Then, if there are electrical signs, the defibrillator comes into action,” explained Pescara chief medic Ernesto Sabatini.
“The defibrillator could not be used because it automatically detects electrical impulses. If there are none, then the machine does not activate.
“For a moment the boy had been revived, but in the ambulance the crew continued trying without success. When he arrived at the hospital, the first thing they did was introduce a pacemaker to give electrical impulses back to the heart.”
The chief cardiologist of the Pescara hospital was in the stands of the match as a fan and rushed down to help the initial treatment.
“When I reached the field, Morosini was in a cardiac and respiratory arrest,” said Professor Paloscia.
“We gave a cardiac massage for an hour and a half, first manually and then with various instruments, but there was nothing to be done.
“We cannot yet say whether the cause of death was cerebral or cardiac, as this can only be confirmed via an autopsy.”
There have been many recent cases of cardiac arrests on the pitch, including Cameroon international Marc Vivien Foe during the Confederations Cup in June 2003, Sao Caetano defender Serginho in 2004, Sevilla player Antonio Puerta in August 2007 and Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque in 2009.
Fabrice Muamba collapsed during the Tottenham-Bolton match last month, but was revived by medical staff and is on the road to recovery.