Romania’s internal ministry has fined the company that provided emergency care to Dinamo Bucharest midfielder Patrick Ekeng as he died, after they were found to have used faulty equipment and out-of-date medicine.
Ekeng died at the age of 26 after collapsing on the pitch during Dinamo’s game against Viitorul on Friday.
After coming off the bench in the 62nd minute of the match, Ekeng fell to the ground seven minutes later and was immediately rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead after receiving CPR for 90 minutes.
Romania’s Ministry of Interior (MAI) has since found that emergency ambulances were found to be “defective”.
A MAI statement also claimed: “Drugs and medical supplies were identified that had passed their valid date.
“Kits issued to doctors and nurses were found to have included medicines that expired in May 2015. Among them were found to be vials of adrenaline, used for resuscitation purposes.
“The company used ambulances that were found to have defibrillators with low battery levels. Representatives of the company could not specify the person responsible for ensuring the safety of the hospital.
“These issues amount to negligence and serious misconduct for a company which provides these services and shall be punished by the suspension of the operating license for a period of at least 30 days, a fine of 20,000 lei ($5,100) for breach of laws surrounding the classification of ambulances and a fine of 3,800 lei ($960) for the use of expired drugs.”
Ekeng’s autopsy confirmed the Cameroon midfielder had suffered cardiac failure brought on by a heart condition.
“We found a larger than normal heart,” Dr Salem Abdo is quoted as saying by Romanian news agency Agerpres. “For a sportsman this hypertrophy can lead to arrhythmias and cardiac arrest.
“He had a heart problem, this was the cause of death.”