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Referee's CPR saved hockey player's life

Referee's CPR saved hockey player's life

Published: 14 Dec 2009 08:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Dec 2009 08:10 GMT+01:00

A quick thinking referee saved the life of a Swedish ice hockey player after the player’s heart stopped during a match on Sunday.

Just after the eight minute mark of the first period in the much anticipated Hockey Allsvenskan match between Örebro and nearby Bofors, Örebro’s Niklas Lihagen collapsed lifeless to the ice.

“I realized right away that it was serious,” referee Wolmer Edqvist told the Expressen newspaper after the incident.

The 26-year-old Lihagen fell to the ice after taking a seemingly innocuous hit against the boards.

Bofors team doctor Peter Karlsson arrived first at Lihagen’s side

“When I got there he was still conscious. But after a few seconds he lost consciousness,” Karlsson told the newspaper.

Edqvist rushed to the aid of the 26-year-old Lihagen and began administering CPR.

“I knew we had about four minutes to bring him back to life,” the referee told Expressen.

Within a few minutes, Lihagen once again began showing signs of life. Two ambulances then arrived on the ice to take the injured player to hospital in Örebro, where he is said to be in a serious but stable condition.

Team officials from Örebro were thankful that Edqvist, a trained emergency medical technician, was assigned to officiate Sunday’s game.

“Fortunately Wolmer was the referee,” Örebro’s head of player operations Mikael Fahlander told Expressen.

“It was a nightmare. I felt totally powerless.”

Speaking with the local Karlskoga-Kuriren newspaper, Edqvist reflected on the fact that he was assigned to be the referee for a hockey game during which a player’s heart stopped.

“One wonders whether there was some reason for it,” he said, looking up toward the ceiling of the arena.

The game was suspended following the incident and Allsvenskan officials are expected to announce on Monday when the match will be replayed.

Video clip (in Swedish) of the incident courtesy of Svergies Television (SVT).

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:44 December 14, 2009 by lingonberrie
Well done Mr. Edqvist.

The best to Niklas Lihagen for a timely recovery and good health.
12:42 December 14, 2009 by karex
So, the team doctor arrives at his side but it's the referee who takes the initiative and saves his life. Hmmm....
13:33 December 14, 2009 by Michael84
Well done man
15:16 December 14, 2009 by jose_s
Well done indeed. Much respect for that man.
15:38 December 14, 2009 by mkvgtired
Excellent job. This reminds me I need to take another CPR class. The last time I was taught how to do it was in high school.
16:33 December 14, 2009 by insect
The doctor must have been suffering from shock himself. I wouldn't want to be on that team with that kind of doctor.
06:39 December 21, 2009 by TvAmazon
Niklas Lihagen and his family should have a few more prayers to offer up this Christmas. He certainly has a guardian angel looking after him. I think I also know who is the best referee in the league.
08:31 December 24, 2009 by TrickyThin
Wolmer Edqvist, i hope that at some point that you read this and i truly hope that you can read english, you honestly, truley are an insperation to anyone that has been taught any form of first aid and life saving lessons, i have been taught how to administer CPR and watching you on the internet single handed save that mans life gives me motivation and the confidence to ensure if i ever have to administer it, that i will correctly and to the best of me abilitys. You truly are an insperation and it enjoy reading such good news amongst what normaly seems a morbid news bulitin.

Yours

Lee Richard Butler

Preston, Lancashire, England.
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