Maccabiah 55+ soccer player suffers heart attack during match

July 26, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The quick intervention of a Magen David Adom team, a life-threatening heart attack suffered by an Australian 55+ soccer player at the 21st Maccabiah Games, was brought under control.

Australia’s 55+ team with Head of Delegation Barry Smorgon at left. Photo: Robi Karp/Maccabi Australia

The MDA team assigned to provide emergency medical coverage for the match in Netanya recognised unusual body language as the athlete walked toward the bench.

When he collapsed on the grass, the MDA team was there and began CPR with electric shocks from a defibrillator.

A Maccabiah spokesperson said: “The player was treated immediately by MDA teams at the scene and was then taken in stable condition and conscious to Laniado Hospital.”

He underwent a series of lifesaving procedures at the hospital and is recovering in the intensive care unit.

For many years, Magen David Adom has been medically securing the Maccabiah events held in Israel. The thousands of EMTs and paramedics covering this year’s event, which began July 14th, underwent a series of training exercises to prepare for the medical cover of tens of thousands of participants and spectators, including some 10,000 athletes from 58 countries.

MDA placed particular emphasis on open-air competitions, including this soccer stadium, where people could be particularly affected by the hot weather.

“For many years, MDA has been securing the Maccabiah Games,” said Eli Bin, director-general of MDA. “I am proud of the high level of alertness the team members showed by their keen observation and speed to the scene, resulting in another life saved.”

Head of Delegation Barry Smorgon told J-Wire: “The patient is fine and has a stent inserted. His wife will arrive today, and following a few days in the hospital and a few days of rest, the player and his wife will fly home to Australia next week.”

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