EPL players drop by Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital for heart checkup

SINGAPORE - Seven English Premier League (EPL) Masters players came by Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital this morning for a heart health check to ensure that their hearts can carry them through to play sports for life.

Cardiologist Dr Tan Chong Hiok attended to the players Robbie Fowler, Bjørn Tore Kvarme, Phil Babb, Ronny Johnsen, Steven Harkness, Paul Jones and Michael Thomas.

They were at the hospital to have an electrocardiography (ECG) examination done.

Electrocardiography is a transthoracic (across the chest) interpretation of the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time, as detected by electrodes attached to the outer surface of the skin and recorded by a device external to the body.

The recording produced by this non-invasive procedure is termed as electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).

Simply put, an ECG test records the electrical activity of the heart.

After Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the field in March 2012, a lot of attention has been placed on keeping the heart in shape while playing sports.

Ronny Johnsen decided to take the extra step and do a stress echocardiography, where he went through a resting echocardiography study, stress test and a repeat echocardiography while his heart was still beating fast.

A video clip of the multiple views of the resting and exercise study were compared side-by-side and analysed by the physician.

All their results turned out fine, much to the relief of these football stars who have stopped playing professional football for quite some time. They all expressed their thanks to be taken care of so well in their time at the hospital.

It is vital for every one to continue to go for medical examinations to ensure that they are fit for sports for life, a spokesperson for the hospital said.

Sports injuries are common among sportsmen and they can either make or break a career. As people age, their bones start to weaken and they may sustain more serious injuries while playing sports.

Dr Siow Hua Ming, an orthopaedic doctor, was at hand to share with the press the importance of looking after mature players so that they can play sports for as long as they want.

These days, with the advent of technology and skilful surgeons, surgeries are often minimally invasive and patients can return to sports quickly.

"At Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, the doctors believe firmly in extending the functionalities of our physical bodies," a spokesperson said, adding that the hospital encourages members of the public to enjoy sports with medical checks to be safe.

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