There have been some horrifying incidents in the past of NHL players suddenly collapsing on the bench during the chaos of a game, and it’s been the quick actions of a doctor that saved their lives.
Now, according to Yahoo Sports Canada, emergency room doctors will be a fixture at every NHL game going forward.
Now, after the Rich Peverley incident last season, the NHL has strengthened its standards further. Each team needs three doctors near the benches at each home game – an orthopedist, a primary care physician and an ER physician – and at least one, if not all, must have current training in ATLS and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
If and when there is another life-threatening emergency – a cardiac incident, a severe laceration, an obstructed airway – there will be an extra layer of expertise and experience to aid in the response.
The Peverley incident is the most recent. Last March, the Dallas Stars forward collapsed on the bench during a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was taken to hospital and underwent a successful heart procedure.
In November of 2005, then Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench also during a game. Again, he was saved by the quick actions of the team physician.
“There was a lot of yelling and screaming, and the one guy that wasn’t confused was our team doctor,” said Fischer’s former teammate Brendan Shanahan, as per Yahoo.