Cherepanov sadly passes away
On October 13th, a dark cloud rose above the hockey world with the passing 19 year old New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov. The cause of the death is still a mystery after one week of investigating although many doctors are starting to determine what happened.
Russian Authorities say that Cherepanov died of chronic ischemia, a condition where the heart doesn’t sustain a steady flow of blood. “I would say it's highly unusual, virtually unheard of, for an elite 19-year-old athlete to have chronic ischemia," said Dr. Anthony Colucci”. This is the same Dr. Colucci that revived ex-Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer after having a seizure on the bench.
Doctors here are so quick to agree by saying that if Cherepanov had any medical conditions then they would have been detected at the 2007 NHL scouting combine.
Another Possibility is that Cherepanov suffered from hypertrophy cardiomyopathy or (HMC). This is often the cause of a sudden cardiac death in young athletes and has already struck former NHL player Sergei Zholtok and Flames prospect Mickey Renaud.
“The first and sometimes only symptom you see from HCM," Dr. Colucci said, "is when the player collapses during activity. The individual goes into sudden cardiac arrest."
There are also lots of questions on whether the appropriate medical action was taken during this dreadful night. Reports say that there was no ambulance on scene and it had already headed back to the hospital sometime during the game. It took awhile for the ambulance to arrive and when it did, it was said to have no working defibrillators on scene with their specific one having empty batteries. A defibrillator is used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Dr. Colucci said that if proper treatment doesn’t start within the first four minutes after the heart stops, then it is next to impossible to save the person.
When legendary Russian hockey player Igor Larionov heard about the incident he had this to say; “ the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) must respond to this crisis and ensure it never happens again, or at least the league should take steps to ensure every arena is better equipped to deal with emergencies of this nature”
Alexei Cherepanov will as be remembered for his junior playing career as well as this terrible incident.
By Tanner Markell
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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