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Muamba was effectively dead for 78 minutes, says doctor

sports Updated: Mar 22, 2012 00:29 IST

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Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba was "effectively dead" for more than an hour as doctors battled to save his life following a cardiac arrest, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Muamba collapsed towards the end of the first half of Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane last Saturday. The match was abandoned soon afterwards and 23-year-old Muamba, who received treatment on the field, was taken to the nearby London Chest Hospital, where he has remained ever since.

Although the midfielder was now making encouraging progress in his recovery, Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin said the player's heart had stopped working for 48 minutes before his arrival in hospital and for half an hour afterwards.

"In effect he was dead in that time," Tobin said. "Fabrice was in a type of cardiac arrest where the heart is showing lots of electrical activity but no muscular activity.

"It's something that often responds to drugs and shocks.

"Now heaven knows why, but Fabrice had, in total, 15 shocks. He had a further 12 shocks in the ambulance."

Tobin, who visited Muamba in hospital on Tuesday, said the player told him he felt "fine".

"I'm glad to say that the early signs of recovery have continued," Tobin said.