A Premier League doctor has urged “everyone possible” to learn to use a defibrillator as the first of more than 2,000 devices provided to basic facilities was installed on Monday.
The Premier League announced in June that it would fund the provision of 2,000 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to clubs and grassroots football facilities, in the hope of saving the lives of people with sudden cardiac arrest .
Awareness of the danger of sudden cardiac arrest was heightened after Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed during a Euro 2020 game in June, with life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed on the field using a defibrillator.
Crystal Palace chief medical officer Dr Zaf Iqbal was representing the Premier League when the first device was installed at a community site for AFC Wimbledon, the League One team.
“This initiative is really welcome because if you look at the statistics every week, between 12 and 16 young people under the age of 35 die from sudden cardiac arrest,” Iqbal said. Sky Sports News.
“The majority in these cases is because there is no defib nearby.
“We know that every minute of delay in getting a defib on the patient results in a 10% decrease in survival.
“The more defibs available and readily available, the more people trained in CPR and basic care, the more likely we are that people will experience cardiac arrest, which gives them the best chance of survival. .
“I think it’s really vital that everyone possible, certainly every school leaver, every adult should know how to do CPR, should try to find out where the nearest defib is, because if you look at the statistics, they may meet someone with stop. “
Eriksen’s survival led to further calls for more defibrillators to be installed at base sites.
However, the collapse of the former Tottenham midfielder was not the first time English football fans have been exposed to such a situation, with Fabrice Muamba having been forced to retire after suffering cardiac arrest on the land for Bolton in 2012.
“Everyone saw the importance of defibrillators last month following the unfortunate circumstances in which Christian Eriksen collapsed,” Iqbal said.
“There is no doubt that the fact that they were able to get a defib on him ASAP is what resulted in a positive result.
“It’s sad in some ways that it takes something like a Christian Eriksen or Fabrice Muamba incident for people to realize the importance of defibs, but that’s the way the world is and I think it is. is just a positive thing that the Premier League has taken him on board and done something about it. “
During the launch of the defibrillator installation on Monday, the FA also provided training to local youth in CPR.
AFC Wimbledon community coach Maddie Sweetman agreed with Iqbal that such training is crucial to ensure defibrillators are fully utilized.
“I think it’s absolutely vital that we have them wherever we really can,” Sweetman said.
“It’s something intense and that’s why I think from an early age you should learn to use them because it’s something that if you don’t know how to use it can be. very scary to face.
“So initiatives like this where we get girls to try and learn to use defibs will really, really help them.”
What is CPR?
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a medical technique that is given to a person who goes into cardiac arrest.
This happens when the heart experiences an electrical problem and stops pumping blood through the body and to the brain, causing the person to lose consciousness and stop breathing.
Doctors define this as “clinical death,” which is the start of biological death, although CPR can help restart a person’s heart function and save their life.
By administering chest compressions and breaths, the CPR interpreter helps pump blood and oxygen around the person’s body, taking over the role of their heart and lungs.
How do you practice CPR?
Always seek professional help by calling 999 before starting CPR.
The NHS advice for performing chest compressions is as follows:
- Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone in the center of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on your first hand and cross your fingers.
- Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
- Using your body weight (not just your arms), press 2 to 2.5 inches (5-6 cm) directly on his chest.
- Keeping your hands on his chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
- Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times per minute until an ambulance arrives or you are exhausted.
The British Heart Foundation recommends that in an emergency it is better to try to perform CPR, even when in doubt, rather than doing nothing at all.
For more information on FA medicine courses that can help deal with issues like cardiac arrest and how to treat them, visit the FA Bootroom.