Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Exercise related cardiac arrest in amateur athletes on the tennis court

Peter Stratil, Fritz Sterz, Moritz Haugk, Christian Wallmüller, Andreas Schober, David Hörburger, Christoph Weiser, Matthias Stöckl, Christoph Testori, Danica Krizanac & Christof Havel


The aim of this study was to study exercise-related cardiac arrests on the tennis court and investigate the impact of early initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on survival rate and outcome.

This study was based on the cardiac arrest registry of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the General Hospital Vienna in Austria. Between February 1993 and April 2010 non-professional athletes were identified, who experienced exercise-related cardiac arrest on the tennis court. The analysis was accomplished using descriptive statistics. Results are presented as mean±standard-deviation or median and interquartile range (IQR).

The subjects (n=27) were predominantly male (96%) with a median age of 58 years; 52% of all patients had underlying cardiovascular risk factors. All cardiac arrests were witnessed. Bystander CPR was documented in 17 cases (63%). Median time from collapse to initiation of CPR was 1(IQR 0-2) minute. Ventricular fibrillation was the initial rhythm in 25 patients (93%) and in 3 an automated external defibrillator was used by bystanders. Twenty-four patients (89%) had return of spontaneous circulation before admission to the hospital and four (15%) followed verbal commands thereafter. The survival rate at 6 months was 82% with 20 patients (74%) having favourable neurologic outcome.

Cardiac arrest on the tennis court is a predominantly witnessed event with a respectively high rate of bystander CPR, which reflects in a high successful survival rate.
citation Stratil P, Sterz F, Haugk M, Wallmüller C, Schober A, Hörburger D, Weiser C, Stöckl M, Testori C, Krizanac D, Havel C. Exercise related cardiac arrest in amateur athletes on the tennis court. Resuscitation 2011; 82:1004-7.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 27-03-2011
journal title Resuscitation (82/8)
ISSN electronic 1873-1570
pages 1004-7
PubMed 21481515
DOI 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.03.017