Posted by Aston Avery

Improving cardiac arrest response in sport

It’s been more than three years since footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest, with fans around the world holding their breath as Eriksen’s teammates linked arms to hide his fight to survive. More recently in January of this year, American football star Damar Hamlin fell to the ground in cardiac arrest at just the age of just 24, whilst on the field.

Just two high profile examples of how young, fit and extremely healthy people can suffer a sudden cardiac arrest whilst playing sport. Figures from Resuscitation Council UK show around 1 in every 217,000 people per year suffer a sports-related sudden death, with the charity looking to improve survival rates thanks to new guidelines on how to react and save lives.

The charity’s ‘Field of Play best practice guidelines’ are designed for medical teams who need to respond to an athlete having a cardiac arrest during or shortly after sporting activity, across all community and professional sports – such as football, swimming and tennis.

Aston spoke to Michael Bradfield, director of clinical and service development at Resuscitation Council UK.

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