Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) happens anywhere, at any time. When it does, the patient's best chance of survival is immediate CPR and a rescuer with an automated external defibrillator (AED). The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) recommends the availability of AEDs in places where access to emergency services may be delayed. A playing field falls into this category. Early intervention can increase survival.
It is extremely important for football clubs to have AEDs available on-site in case of an SCA event.
Some Common Misconceptions of SCA in Football:
“Footballers are healthy; we don’t need an AED on our field.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest doesn’t discriminate. It strikes people of any age or fitness level. In Europe, more than 350,000 patients are affected by SCA every year. Most SCA events occur in public places.
“There are no SCA hazards on our playing fields.”
Sudden cardiac arrest can be brought on by many factors. Taking a fall, being hit by an object or any other trauma to the body can trigger a cardiac event.
Every Second Counts
Additionally, the football pitch may be far from a hospital, police station or fire station. When an ambulance is called for a life-threatening illness, injury or other emergency, the standard response time should be between 7 and 18 minutes. For someone in cardiac arrest, help may come too late. Every minute that passes without treatment decreases the chance of survival by 10%. Additionally, playing fields are often located in more remote areas. If the field is equipped with an AED, anyone on-site could use it to provide immediate high-quality CPR and a potentially life-saving shock.
While on a playing field, you should never be more than a 3-minute round trip from a defibrillator to ensure effective and rapid treatment when a medical emergency occurs. This could mean multiple AEDs are needed for large sites to ensure that no matter where an incident takes place, an AED can be located and retrieved for the best chance of survival.
Are you prepared?
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