Footballer collapses on field during a local division game in Bengaluru, taken to hospital

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Ayush Panchamiya of Young Challengers being shifted to an ambulance during a local division game at the Bangalore Football Stadium

Bengaluru, November 15: A footballer was taken to hospital after he was knocked out following an on-field collision during a Bangalore District Football Association's A Division League game at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Tuesday (November 15).

The player, Ayush Panchamiya of Young Challengers FC, went down after a tussle for possession in the 45th minute of the match against Parikrma FC in the second-tier league of the city. Ayush, 19, collided with an opponent team defender while going for a header, and subsequently fell backwards with his head landing on the ground.

Ayush's teammates panicked as he lay on the ground, his mouth foaming. The physiotherapist who was present at the scene, Sapeksh Dongre, rushed to the player to administer first-aid.

"He collapsed after hitting his head on the ground," Dongre said. "It was an issue of tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and even though it's not hot right now, I realised that he suffered a sunstroke. I administered first-aid and gave him Levipil since he was having fits. This tablet is used to treat seizures and brings down the heart rate. He was then taken to the hospital in the ambulance."

The ambulance present outside the ground was called in and took the player to the St Philomena's Hospital. Play was stopped for 15 minutes as a result of the incident.

Dongre later rued that Ayush's teammates were trying to cure him on their own. "It became a bit of problem when players surrounded him to help... they shouldn't crowd around a player who has collapsed," Dongre said. "Even when a player is suffering from a seizure, you can lift him off the ground in a stretcher. But his teammates were all around him and were trying to save him."

Ayush Panchamiya

Ayush, a first-year B.Com student at the St Joseph's College of Commerce, recovered at the hospital and returned to the ground two hours later. "They conducted a CT scan and declared that I could be released immediately," Ayush said afterwards. "I was knocked out the whole time and don't remember what happened much. All I remember is my captain (Nirmal) saying it's going to be all right and that I will be fine. I still feel a bit hazy. But I guess I can continue playing after a day's rest. I hope to be back on the field soon."

R Gopal, coach of Young Challengers FC, felt one shouldn't panic and go into a frenzy when a player collapses on the pitch. "Since this is astro-turf, the surface is hard. So when he fell, he might have hurt his head. I was worried watching from the sidelines but I knew he was a strong boy. When I realized it was a paralytic fit, I did not panic. I'm a chemist with a Diploma in Pharmacy. So I knew what it was. The captain, Nirmal, did not panic either because his brother has the same condition. We rushed him to hospital where he underwent a CT scan."

The BDFA has time and again been plagued with such incidents, and has been at the receiving end of criticism for not taking enough safety precautions before conducting their league matches. This being an A Division game, with the premier Super Division League match to follow, a physio and an ambulance was present at the spot.

In April this year, Santhosh Kumar W of Bangalore Mars fell unconscious on the ground and there was no physio present at the stadium to administrator first aid. Fortunately, the player survived.

In March 2012, another Bangalore Mars player, Venkatesh, collapsed on the pitch and even then, a physio was not hired nor was an ambulance present. Venkatesh's teammates hired an auto-rickshaw and took him to the nearest hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

It was only after this incident that the BDFA and the Karnataka State Football Association decided to have an in-house ambulance at the ground. Sometimes though, this ambulance or the physio is absent during its fourth-tier C Division matches.

Story first published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 17:49 [IST]
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