The match was tense and many Nigerians became emotional and nervous due to some highlights including Victor Osimhen’s cancelled goal, Ola Aina’s penalty miss, awarding a penalty to South Africa, and other moments, leading to the demise of fans.
Some medical experts spoke to Vanguard after the losses, revealing what could make people lose their lives watching such a tense football game.
Below are a few medical conditions that cause death during tense matches:
1. Heart attack and stroke
Consultant Cardiologist at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Dr Ramon Moronkola, attributed the spate of sudden death while watching a football match to either a heart attack or a stroke.
“For people that develop heart failure for example or those that have had what is called Ischemic Heart Disease, which is some form of blockage in their heart before, any form of excitement can tilt such people towards a heart attack,” Moronkola said.
2. Excitement and grief
Moronkola said grief or excitement could cause sudden death, particularly if there was an underlying medical issue that is diagnosed or undiagnosed.
“People can die suddenly as a result of grief or excitement. For those who die as a result of excitement, usually, there is an underlying cardiovascular issue, either known or unknown to the individual.
“Some people are also prone to developing what are called arrhythmias when there is an emotional surge.
“Arrhythmias means the heart is beating abnormally and goes into an abnormal rhythm, and that can also lead to sudden death.”
Also speaking, the President of the Nigerian Cardiac Society, Prof Augustine Odili, said: “My heartfelt sympathy to the family. We just confirmed that a Nigerian who lives in Cote d’Ivoire also died in the field yesterday. We confirmed that he hails from Anambra state, a businessman.
“The possibility is that they might have had what people call heart attack, which is known to be caused by the expression of emotions.
“Again, it is also important to talk about how each of them died, and at what point. Two of them I learnt died when the Nigerian player scored a goal and the goal was disqualified and then South Africa scored and the penalty shootout.”
On what individuals can do to prevent such unexpected occurrences of sudden death, Moronkola said everyone should undergo regular health checks, even as he called for immediate resuscitation of emergency response and preparedness approaches in Nigeria.
He said, “There is nothing that can be beyond regular checks even if you have no symptoms and don’t feel any pain, it is good to check. It is when there is no war that you prepare for war, so even if you have no symptoms, and you are not sick, it is good to have regular checks so that you can detect any underlying issues. That is the only way forward.
“Try regular health checks so that you can know what your background condition is and manage it appropriately. If you have high blood pressure that is not controlled and when you have an emotional surge, your blood pressure will go through the roof compared to someone whose blood pressure or hypertension is well controlled.”