Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini collapsed from a heart attack on the pitch on Saturday and was dead before he arrived at the hospital. According to reports from the Italian media, the ambulance that took him to the hospital was delayed because its entrance to the stadium was blocked.
Steps will assuredly be taken to ensure that never happens again.
Morosini, 25, collapsed 31 minutes into his Serie B match at Pescara. He tried to get up, but couldn’t. Medical staff rushed onto the field and a defibrillator was used. Morosoni regained consciousness as he was stretchered off the field.
For a first-hand look at the timeline, Pescara’s general manager Danilo Iannascoli, in a quote captured by ESPN, told of his encounter with his fallen player: “He looked at me in the eyes when he was taken into the ambulance.”
In the same ESPN article, Edoardo De Blasio—a cardiologist at Pescara’s Santo Spirito hospital—was quoted as saying, “unfortunately he was already dead when he arrived at hospital. He didn’t regain consciousness.”
So here is a 25-year-old player who had just suffered a heart attack, was living when he was ushered into the ambulance and dead before he got to the hospital, and the ambulance could have gotten there sooner.
Iannascoli added credibility to the reports of the ambulance being blocked with this quote: “I don’t know if the ambulance was late, but I know that the entrance onto the pitch was blocked by a vehicle.”
The Associated Press, via The Washington Post, went into a little more detail:
Italian media reports said a car belonging to traffic police blocked the ambulance’s way into the stadium Saturday and a window had to be broken so the car could be moved.
This is a situation that never should have happened, and one that will assuredly result in steps being created so it never happens again.
The access point in and out of a stadium needs to be clearly marked and known to all emergency vehicles. It must be so clear that this can never happen again, whether that is by accident, ignorance or malice.
I have no idea if this delay in any way played a role in the tragic series of events that claimed Morosini’s life, but I do know that even having to wonder if it did is a terrible and avoidable situation.