On Monday evening (March 10, 2014), 31-year-old Dallas Stars forward, Rich Peverley, collapsed during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center.
He was treated immediately for a “cardiac event” – that cardiac event being an atrial fibrillation “attack.” He was defibrillated successfully after one attempt. What’s scary here is that it sounds like his heart was not only beating really fast, it actually stopped. The report specifically says:
Peverley’s heart was beating very fast and then stopped, but he thinks for only a few seconds.
Dr. John Mandrola, a cardiac electrophysiologist, is an active blogger on atrial fibrillation and he just posted his thoughts on this incident.
He says the following in his post:
I have seen only two possible ways a healthy patient (without WPW) could collapse from AF or atrial flutter. One is 1:1 flutter from a Type Ic drug (flecainide or propafenone); the other is polymorphic VT (torsades de pointes) from a Type III drug (sotalol, dronedarone, dofetilide or amiodarone). In this case I favor the former. The teaching point is that he likely suffered a pro-arrhythmia from an AF drug.
According to Dr. Mandrola then, it’s quite possible Peverley collapsed as a result of the medications he was on to treat atrial fibrillation (the medications caused a pro-arrhythmia). Peverley was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation before the start of the season and has been on medication. The specific medication is unknown. He was planning on having a catheter ablation at the end of the season but will be having one done now. As a result, he’ll be out for the remainder of the season as he recovers from the procedure.
It is unknown if he’ll play hockey again. It will likely depend on how he responds to the ablation.
9/4/15 UPDATE: Rich Peverley retires from the NHL. Source: The Dallas Morning News
5/14/15 UPDATE: Apparently Peverley has had a defibrillator device in his heart. His agent said his doctors said the device might be able to be removed. If that happens, there is a chance he could be cleared to play hockey again. Source: CBS Sports
2/13/15 UPDATE: Peverley has still been out of action with the Stars and his return to the NHL is still in question. He’s now volunteer coaching with the Dallas Stars’ AHL affiliate. Source: ProHockeyTalk
9/18/14 UPDATE: Peverley is “…cleared to work out, but not cleared to go on the ice yet.” He will continue to work off the ice and be around the team when training camp starts on Friday, September 19th. Source: Dallas News
3/28/14 UPDATE: Peverley skates for the first time since the ablation procedure. He says he hopes to return to hockey someday but for now he’s taking it day-by-day. Source: CBS Sports
3/19/14 UPDATE: Peverley had the ablation on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic. He was released today and is expected to return to Dallas tomorrow (Thursday). His manager, Jim Nill, said he will be monitored closely and further treatment may be necessary. Source: USAToday.com