A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock known as counter shock to the heart through the chest wall, to a person in cardiac arrest. The shock depolarizes a large amount of the heart muscle and helps the heart to re-establish normal sinus rhythm. This treatment is called defibrillation and it’s an essential life saving step in the chain of survival.
There is a large amount of people in the UK with a faulty gene which puts them at risk of sudden death from a cardiac arrest. Defibrillation is prime way to save a person’s life facing cardiac arrest. This is why defibrillators have been made available in public places such as shopping centre’s, train stations, airport and leisure centre’s.
When someone collapses on the football pitch and their heart stops, defibrillators can make the difference between life and death. The initial few seconds are absolutely critical and every minute without defibrillation can reduce their chance of survival by ten percent. This is why football clubs should have this vital equipment nearby in case of an emergency.
The British heart foundation has stated that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in athletes happen during or immediately after exercise. Also footballers with inherited heart conditions are three times more likely to suffer cardiac arrest while participating in intensive or strenuous exercise. At least three fatalities occurred in England this year during football matches or training due to cardiac arrest.
The Football Association has already acknowledged defibrillators as an essential and emergency first aid following casualties at football activities. A victim’s chance of survival can be doubled by performing CPR and using a defibrillator until an ambulance arrives.
The British Heart Foundation and The Football Association have recommended installing lifesaving defibrillators to the grassroots and amateur football clubs. They have already helped to place around 600 defibrillators at grassroots clubs across the country. Currently they are inviting applications from clubs as they have 900 more defibrillators available to be installed.