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FA doctor speaks out on cardiac screening

In the aftermath of Saturday's incident with Fabrice Muamba, Ian Beasley, Senior Team doctor for the England football team and the FA's Head of Medical Services, has spoken out on cardiac screening in football.

23-year-old Muamba, described as one of the fittest members of the Bolton Wanderers squad, suffered a cardiac arrest in front of over 40,000 fans during his team's FA Cup match with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The England Under-21 player's near-death experience dominated the front and back pages of this week's national newspapers after his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes.

Following Saturday's incident, Beasley said that all players are offered a screening at 16 years old, once they enter a club academy. They are also obliged to have a cardiac screen on file to train or play for the England football team.

Beasley told "The real problem with screening is that no amount of screening can detect everything, so it makes it very difficult when this sort of thing happens. But the signs of cardiac disease and inherited cardiac disease aren't always evident on the most meticulous screen."

Beasley was full of praise for the efforts of both the Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham medical teams, who moved swiftly to help Muamba following his collapse in the middle of the pitch.

All club doctors in the Premier League who sit on the team bench are obliged to take the FA-resuscitation course.

However, claims Beasley, even more could be done to improve things: "It would be great if everybody working in football could do the course and make sure they are able to resuscitate in the same way. At the moment that's not the case [but] we educate 20-30 people at a time every two months."

Question: How do you think medical teams coped with Muamba's collapse last week?