Saturday April 14 2012
Cardiologist: 'More tests needed'

Italy already has a very advanced screening programme for heart problems in athletes, but after Piermario Morosini’s death medics are calling for even stricter rules.

The 25-year-old collapsed during today’s Pescara-Livorno Serie B match and could not be revived. When Fabrice Muamba recently suffered a heart attack during the Tottenham-Bolton game, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini pointed out Italian clubs have far more regular screenings than in the Premier League.

“It is a tragedy and the explanation is that evidently the players are not monitored enough,” cardiologist of the San Camillo Hospital in Rome told

“Preventative sporting medicine is not as developed as it should be. In football there is also the use of various substances, such as proteins and integrators that are not doping but can have devastating effects on those with a certain genetic predisposition.

“There is also the possibility these pathologies can appear suddenly and cannot be diagnosed earlier. In Morosini’s case we would have to wait for the autopsy.

“Not everything is predictable in medicine. In recent years a series of syndromes have been discovered that until five years ago were unknown.

“What is indispensible to prevent this happening again is a series of very serious, deep and repeated scans. These lads are young and evolve quickly, changing their physical characteristics, so should be constantly monitored. We need more prevention, but in this football world I don’t know if it will be possible.

“In order to avoid risks, each player should have an ECG under extreme stress, a normal ECG and monitoring of the arterial pressure, all to be repeated periodically. As there is sometimes a genetic predisposition to these problems, it would also be opportune to do a precise analysis of family history of cardiac issues.”

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