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This blog fell from a supposed former adrenaline junkie.

How did Manny Pacquiao make Four Filipinos Drop Dead?

Nov 19th 2009

How many times has it been that after a Pacquiao fight, reports of Pinoys dropping dead make it to the headlines? One is such instance:

Four Pacquiao Fans Die From Heart Attack While Watching Boxing Bout

Manila, Philippines (AHN) – Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto is luckier than four fans of Manny Pacquiao despite losing his welterweight bout against the Filipino pugilist. The fans died from heart attack while watching the boxing bout on TV on Sunday.

In Butuan City, Concordio Paredes, 69, dropped dead while watching the second round of the Pacquiao-Cotto duel at an eatery.

In Batangas City, Cecilio Cabrera, 62, suffered a heart attack while watching the fight at a hotel. He was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital.

In Davao City, police officer Jose Paco, 59, finished watching the match before succumbing. He was also dead on arrival at a local hospital.

In Mabalacat, Pampanga, Abelardo Fernando, 70, suffered a heart attack after the seventh round. He was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

There were three other Pacquiao fans watching the fight in different parts of the Philippines when they suffered a cardiac arrest or stroke. But they all survived.

This can be explained by basic physiology. In an article in Scientific American, they asked Martin Samuels, chairman of neurology dept at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston if it’s possible to be scared to death.

The body has a natural protective mechanism called the fight-or-flight response. In the wild, when an animal is faced with a threatening situation, the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system responds by increasing heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, dilating the pupils, and slowing digestion among other things. Adrenaline, a neurotransmitter which serve as a chemical messenger to various parts of the body, activate this fight-or-flight response.

When adrenaline lands on the cardiac muscle, it causes calcium channels in the muscle to open.

Calcium ions rush into the heart causing it to contract.

If there is a massive overwhelming storm of adrenaline, then calcium keeps pouring into the cells and the muscles jsut can’t relax.

There is this specially adapted system of muscle and nerve tissue in the heart—the sinoatrial (SA) node, the atrioventricular node, and the Purkinje fibers—which sets the rhythm of the heart. If this system is overwhelmed with adrenaline, the heart can go into abnormal rhythms that are not compatible with life. If one of those is triggered, you will drop dead.

In most cases, it’s probably ventricular fibrillation that causes these sudden deaths from fear. Ventricular fibrillation basically causes the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) to vibrate in a way that hampers their ability to deliver blood to the body.

Any strong positive or negative emotions such as happiness or sadness can lead to fatal heart rhythms.. There are people who have died in intercourse or in religious passion. A study in Germany found an increase of sudden cardiac deaths on the days that the German soccer team was playing in the World Cup.

So in this case, sudden cardiac deaths on days that Manny Pacquiao is fighting is comprehensible.

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5 Responses

  1. doczoe (33 comments) says:

    thanks so much!

  2. consulting rooms London (1 comments) says:

    Thanks for sharing this information this is a real good post.

  3. doczoe (33 comments) says:


  4. Ez (1 comments) says:

    I think a lot of sports events are guilty of causing such a thing. But in Manny’s case, I think that day, or rather that “time span’s” death rate still is a whole lot better than the average sunday. 4 cardiac arrests is still better than perhaps 40 or so victims of crime had the criminals been out there, stabbing, shooting, or strangling someone. 🙂

  5. JessQ (1 comments) says:

    Thanks for sharing this Doc Zoe. Very helpful for people with heart problems or conditions, most especially.

    By the way, am deeply elated for your generous gesture of placing Buhilaman sa Bukid Malindang at the top of your links. Am most sincerely grateful.

    I have subscribed to this blog already to keep me abreast of recent updates. Hope you’re in the best of health…and enjoy the Survivor Philippines adventure.

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