LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - The Premier League will review its medical procedures in the wake of Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Muamba, 23, remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital where he is showing signs of improvement.
“What we will certainly be doing is looking at every aspect of what happened and if there are ways and means of improving, if there are ways and means of making it better in the future -- just like we did in 2006-07 following the Petr Cech incident -- we will do everything we can to make sure we reduce to the point of elimination, if we possibly can, things like that,” Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a sports industry event in London, Scudamore said the Premier League had learned from Chelsea keeper Cech’s injury in a Premier League match against Reading five and a half years ago in which he sustained a fractured skull.
“Incidents and events shape policy, shape developments, shape progress. There are no guarantees but we will do whatever we can to improve,” he said.
Chelsea were critical of the time it took for Cech to receive proper treatment, prompting a review of procedures in case of a serious injury to a player.
“In some ways, (Muamba‘s) life, if it is saved - and let’s hope it has been saved - is as a result of the things a lot of us put in place after what happened with Petr Cech,” added Scudamore.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes improvements in the Premier League could still be made in the way players are screened for potential heart problems by their clubs.
“We need to screen players maybe two times a year. In Italy we do this and the medicals are really accurate. When I saw our medicals two years ago (when I arrived at City) I said we need to improve our medicals,” he told a news conference.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, however, said Muamba could not have received better treatment than he did at White Hart Lane where he was given CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for several minutes on the pitch before being taken to hospital.
“When I saw them pumping his chest I feared the worst, but the medical assistance was just amazing,” Redknapp, whose own squad had cardiac tests on Monday, told a news conference.
“Everybody from both clubs and one or two people from out of the crowd, cardiologists came down and helped. He couldn’t have had better support and if it was going to happen it could not have happened in a better place really.”
Muamba, an England Under-21 international, was still in a serious condition on Tuesday but was breathing on his own.
He came off sedation on Monday and was recognising family members and answering questions appropriately, a hospital statement said.
Further updates on his recovery are expected later on Tuesday.
Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final was abandoned before halftime following his collapse and Bolton’s league match at Aston Villa on Tuesday has been postponed. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Mark Meadows)