The Red Wings have called a 1 p.m. Eastern press conference at Joe Louis Arena to give an update on Jiri Fischer's condition, which we'll be keeping tabs on for you this afternoon.
Meantime, bloggers have been keeping this one up to date from last night on, Christy at On the Wings noting Fischer's heart abnormality that first showed up in tests three years ago, and linking to a couple of live blogs from last night. Some screen caps as well here, and Lets Go Wings has a forum with the latest.
UPDATE: Here's a transcript from the press conference with Dr. Anthony Colucci, Red Wings team physician, and GM Ken Holland:
Dr Anthony Colucci, Red Wings team physician:
Met with Jiri Fischer this morning. “He was actually cracking some jokes. We had some good alone time, him and I. Everything appears to be well right now, all his tests are coming back within normal limits.”
“From where I’m seated we have that ability to have a quick response, which was very crucial in that situation. He had slumped over, from what I understand, and Piet (Van Zant, athletic therapist) immediately notified me to jump down and (scene). When I assessed the situation Mr Fischer was having a convulsion – some people may categorize it as a seizure, he had a convulsion, in my professional opinion.
“We were trying, or I was trying to maintain an airway. We were trying to establish a pulse. We had an airway – giving him some oxygen he was actually breathing on his own. We couldn’t feel a pulse. It might have been a thready, weak pulse.
“We initiated chest compressions, at which time he came about a little bit more awake. We then had the – immediately Piet had got the AED – the automatic external defibrillator – and placed it on his chest. It’s a device that basically reads your cardiac situation and it will shock you if you’re in a terminal rhythm, for example ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. It told us to clear, it was analyzing, told us to clear, it is analyzing it, to shock – we then shocked him. He had gone into where I reassessed him, re-evaluated him, I did not feel a pulse in the carotid area continually maintaining an airway. At that time I initiated and continued to do CPR and chest compressions.
"After several compressions checking for a pulse he had a good bounding carotid pulse. I then went to the head and assisted his airway ventilation. He then started breathing on his own, at which time we got him on to the backboard, we had ... established and transported him by EMS, got him into the ambulance rig. Upon his arrival (at hospital) he was very stable – stable blood pressure, stable heart rate. He came out of the post-dictal, confused state he was in because of the convulsion he had, and he was able to converse at that point.
“He had an uneventful evening and today, this afternoon, he was in good spirits, and very thankful for everybody.”
Why did it happen?
What does he remember?
“He couldn’t really recall too much last night. This morning he remembers playing the first shift he went out on. He remembers being in the ambulance on the way to Detroit receiving, that’s about all he can recall. Then he remembers being in the Detroit receiving emerg department. He doesn’t remember on the bench at all.”
Given his age (25), do you think this was releated to his earlier heart condition?
Ken Holland: “By federal law, it prohibits us from discussing anything with regards to his medical history. … You’ll have to ask Jiri those questions.”
How crucial was the quick response – did it save his life?
Colucci: “The answer is yes. That was very critical, the response. Jiri actually asked me how long was he down. It’s a matter of seconds -- as you all know, in a very stressful situation, a few seconds feels like a few hours. That Piet immediately recognized there was a problem and it could be a potential fatal problem, that he alerted me and being so close to where I’m supposed to be I was able to get down there and assess the situation, get an airway established. … the message out there is basic CPR and an AED monitor and the quick response.”
How prevalent are these kind of circumstances?
“For a 25-year-old to go down in a ventricular tachycardia rhythm is a rare situation. You have obviously heard of the Hank Gathers and the Reggie Lewises. They’re rare occurrences, but when they do happen they’re obviously alarming. But I cannot quote any statistics on the occurrence of that.”
Will there be any long-term side effects?
“No, if you’re going to see anything it’s going to happen immediately. So that he’s moving everything, everything’s functioning 100 per cent. … he even told me, ‘I feel great, I feel fantastic.’”
If Jiri had not been in the hockey rink, what are his chances of surviving something like this?
"Anybody educated in this and trained in this could’ve saved Jiri’s life. You basically apply the CPR, you apply the AED monitor and the same results could’ve happened. Now if you don’t have those, you have a different outcome."
Can an athlete go through that and continue his career?
"I don’t know … Is this an electrolyte disturbance that led to a cardiac disturbance that led to his convulsion? I can’t really speculate as to the origin of this whole matter. … Is he going to play again, is he going to resume a normal life? Those are things we’re still investigating."
Ken Holland, Red Wings GM: Has talked to Fischer’s parents and his agent. Agent Jiri Crha coming into Detroit today, while parents may be coming over. Also said he didn’t know what to do with the roster situation, “maybe call someone up from Grand Rapids.”