On Tuesday morning UFC heavyweight Shane del Rosario, suffered a catastrophic cardiovascular collapse. He was found by UFC flyweight Ian McCall, who called 911, and administered CPR until emergency medical personnel arrived. Del Rosario was brought to the hospital in full cardiac arrest.
He was resuscitated in the ER, and returned back to stable heart rhythm and blood pressure. On Wednesday he underwent an Arctic Sun procedure, raising his core temperature in hopes that his brain would activate. Unfortunately, it was not successful; del Rosario, 30, was moved onto life support and showed no brain activity.
There were multiple reports that he would need a miracle to recover. His family were going to make a decision Friday morning about whether to continue life support, but decided to delay the determination.
By all indications, the MMA world should prepare itself for tragic news.
When a highly conditioned athlete suffers an apparently fatal cardiac event at the age 30, fans naturally question why. Del Rosario's manager Jason House suggested it could have been the result of Long QT Syndrome, a rare heart condition.
“Shane continues to cling to life at Hoag hospital in Newport Beach, Calif.,” House texted Sherdog.com. “After arriving at the emergency room in full cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning he was resuscitated to stable rhythm and blood pressure, but has not regained consciousness. Doctors believe he may suffer from a rare condition called Long QT Syndrome, which is a genetic anomaly that can cause a sudden and life-threatening heart rhythm abnormality, and may result in sudden death. Tragically, it strikes healthy young people and often is the first and only presentation of a heart problem.”
FightMedicine.net founder Dr. Jon Gelber explained that Long QT Syndrome is an abnormality in the heart's conduction pathway and affects about one in 2,000 people. Those afflicted can suffer rapid heartbeats that can trigger a sudden fainting spell, seizure or sudden death.
Traditionally, athletes with Long QT Syndrome were advised not participate in sports. A study out of Mayo Clinic, however, argued that athletes who chose to continue playing sports could do so safely as long as their family and coaches were educated and they had the means of treating emergencies such as having their own defibrillator.
The tragedy, however, is that when a heart condition like this does manifest itself, it can lead to cardiovascular collapse. In cardiovascular collapse, the heart and circulatory system fail to get enough blood and oxygen to key organs of the body, including the brain.
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