A rare heart condition may have caused Shane del Rosario's hospitalization. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Shane del Rosario remains on life support at the Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif.
The heavyweight’s manager, Jason House, released an update on del Rosario’s condition via text message to Sherdog.com on Friday, revealing that the fighter’s sudden hospitalization may be the result of a rare heart condition.
“Shane continues to cling to life at Hoag hospital in Newport Beach, Calif.,” House wrote. “After arriving at the emergency room in full cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning he was resuscitated to stable rhythm and blood pressure, but has not regained consciousness. Doctors believe he may suffer from a rare condition called Long QT Syndrome, which is a genetic anomaly that can cause a sudden and life-threatening heart rhythm abnormality, and may result in sudden death. Tragically, it strikes healthy young people and often is the first and only presentation of a heart problem.”
Training partner Erik Apple told Sherdog on Thursday that del Rosario was found at home by his roommate, UFC flyweight Ian McCall, who called 911 and administered CPR to the heavyweight prior to del Rosario being taken to the hospital.
ESPN.com’s Josh Gross later reported that del Rosario was moved onto life support and “had no brain activity remaining” after undergoing a procedure on Wednesday that doctors had hoped would jump-start body and brain function.
According to the ESPN report, doctors were expected to make a decision about whether to continue life support this morning, but Apple told Sherdog that the fighter’s parents determined that no decision would be made today.
“They are very thankful for all of the support and love that has come from all over the world for their son,” Apple wrote. “At this point we need to do our best to respect their privacy and continue to pray for their son.”
Sherdog's Fight Doctor and FightMedicine.net (@FightMedicine) founder Jon Gelber has more on Long QT Syndrome: Long QT Syndrome is an abnormality in the heart's conduction pathway and affects about one in 2,000 people. It can lead to rapid heartbeats that can trigger a sudden fainting spell, seizure or sudden death.
Traditionally, athletes with Long QT Syndrome were advised not to participate in sports. A study out of Mayo Clinic, however, argued that athletes who chose to continue playing sports could do so safely as long as their family and coaches were educated and they had the means of treating emergencies such as having their own defibrillator. One example of an athlete excelling despite this condition is Dana Vollmer, an Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer.
The tragedy, however, is that when a heart condition like this does manifest itself, it can lead to cardiovascular collapse. In cardiovascular collapse, the heart and circulatory system fail to get enough blood and oxygen to key organs of the body, including the brain.