Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley underwent testing on Tuesday to figure out what caused his collapse on the bench during Monday night's game at the American Airlines Center.
General manager Jim Nill said Tuesday that Peverley, who appears to have gone into cardiac arrest, is in stable condition and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was hospitalized Monday night. The Stars' game against Columbus was postponed in the first period after Peverley went down on the bench, stunning the crowd and players.
Nill said in a statement that Peverley is "extremely grateful for all of the prayers and support that he's received from fans and friends alike."
Nill said doctors are focused on finding a long-term solution to Peverley's irregular heartbeat. The condition was diagnosed in training camp, and he underwent a procedure that sidelined him for the preseason and the season opener. Peverley is currently hospitalized at UT-Southwestern St. Paul Hospital.
The condition, called atrial fibrillation, is a concern because it can increase the risk for stroke – generally in patients 75 and older, but not impossible in younger patients.
The 31-year-old Peverley also missed a game last week in Columbus because of the effects of the condition. He played in two games before Monday night.
"Normally we have a top part of the heart and the bottom part of the heart," said cardiologist Parin Parikh, who's not associated with the team. "The top part of the heart receives blood, and the bottom part of the heart pumps it to our body. In arrhythmias, there is often disorganization and a lack of communication between the top part of the heart and the bottom part of the heart."
Patients with the condition are often put on blood thinners, but it's unclear whether or not Peverley was on that particular medication.
One thing all experts agree on is how important it is to act fast in cases like Peverley's. They say Peverley survived not because of anything that was done before the event, but rather, by quick-thinking doctors and who were able to bring him back to consciousness.
The Stars are in St. Louis for a Tuesday night game against the Blues. Stars player Alex Chiasson didn't make the trip with the team. Nill said Chiasson is still shaken up by the Peverley incident.
The Stars and doctors from UT-Southwestern will hold a press conference on Wednesday to discuss additional updates on Peverley.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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