32-year-old Argentinian rugby player Esteban Noriega has collapsed and gone into cardiac arrest in the 70th minute of a French rugby union match.
Noriega was playing for Union Rugby Gascon in a match against Marsacq XV in the Aquitaine League when he collapsed in the 70th minute.
The match was immediately halted and an ambulance was called according to the French outlet Rugbyrama.
Two off-duty nurses were able to get a defibrillator from a nearby community hall and performed life-saving CPR using the defibrillator.
”The fact that we had a defibrillator nearby undoubtedly saved him,” Noriega’s manager Olivier Courrègelongue told Rugbyrama. “Players from both teams formed a barrier while Esteban received treatment.”
Noriega was airlifted by helicopter to Bordeaux University Hospital where he was placed in an artificial coma before undergoing surgery.
Noriega’s former club, UST Rugby, responded to the incident on Twitter. “UST Rugby sends its greatest support to Esteban NORIEGA, as well as to all his relatives. Passed to the club during the 2014-2015 season, unfortunately, he suffered a cardiac arrest during a meeting. Strength to you Esteban!”
Noriega is the latest in a growing and concerning number of sports stars across all codes suffering from cardiac-related issues.