Last month medical advisers to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) called for football federations through the world to apply some of their FIFA grant funds to equip every major stadium with an automated external defibrillator (AED). At the FIFA Medical Conference in Budapest, it was revealed that in the past 5 years, 84 cases of sudden cardiac arrest occurred in football fields and training grounds. In 80 percent of the incidents, there was no AED available at the stadium. Only 24 of the 84 cardiac arrest victims were revived.
According to medical research presented at the conference, sudden cardiac arrest is more likely to strike a professional football player than a member of the general population. Already in 2012 there have been 6 cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in football. While Fabrice Muamba of the English team the Bolton Wanderers survived a recent cardiac arrest incident due to the rapid response of the pitchside medical staff, five other players died. The 23-year-old midfielder was without a heartbeat for 78 minutes, and received 15 shocks from a defibrillator in the stadium and in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Bolton Wanderers’ team physician, Jonathan Tobin, addressed the medical conference, as did Professor Efraim Kramer, a cardiac specialist from Johannesburg’s Witwersrand University. Kramer conducted a workshop on handling sudden cardiac arrest, including administering football-specific CPR. He called for all medical personnel involved with the sport to be taught football-specific CPR and use of an AED. FIFA.com reported many of Kramer’s key points from his workshop:
“Time is absolutely critical,” Kramer told participants at his workshop. “You have three to five minutes to shock a normal person who has a cardiac arrest, but in a patient who has a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart muscle disease) you have about 120 seconds to get to that patient. And if you’re going to get to that patient in these two minutes to be able to shock them on the field, you have to have a plan, you have to have the equipment and you have to have people who are alert to what is happening.”
The European Resuscitation Council’s 2010 Europe Guidelines on Resuscitation set forth step-by-step, detailed procedures to be used by lay persons and by rescuers with advanced training in treating a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.
“It is required at FIFA competitions to have appropriate medical staff around the pitch and a defibrillator in the stadium,” Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer, told the conference. “We obviously can’t guarantee that there is a defibrillator at every single stadium all around the world, but we want to make people understand that it can save lives. We want to explain to and educate the member associations that this is absolutely vital.”
Across the globe, national soccer organizations are acting to comply with the FIFA recommendations.
- In the U.S., the U.S. Soccer Federation operating procedures already require match organizers to provide an on-site AED and ambulance for international matches and tournaments.
- Similarly, the Asian Football Confederation has already begun to adopt AED requirements. The training-camp death of 34-year-old Naoki Matuda, one of Japan’s greatest players, led the country’s third division and the women’s Nadeshiko League to place AEDs at stadiums and training grounds.
- Last month the Peruvian Football Association conducted a workshop on cardiac incidents, teaching CPR and AED use to paramedical and administrative staff and to doctors from first and second division clubs and the country’s national teams. The association has purchased AEDs for its headquarters and for Peru’s national teams.
- In the UK, the Oliver King Foundation has called on the government to place AEDs in all public buildings, including schools and sports venues, by 2017. The petition is backed by football clubs including Liverpool Football Club.
Cardiac Science is currently the Official Provider of Automatic Defibrillators for the European Football Championship, EURO 12, in Ukraine. AEDs are being placed in stadiums, airports, railway stations, sport hubs and at the hotels housing competing teams and members of the UEFA in Ukraine during the event.
- Powerheart AED G3 Plus
- Powerheart AED G3 Fully Automatic and Semi-automatic
- Powerheart AED G3 Pro
- Powerheart AED G3 Trainer
- AED Program Management
Last 5 posts
- How a health club's AEDs saved 100 lives - March 22nd, 2013
- American Osteopathic Association urges defibrillators for school sports - August 14th, 2012
- AED.com honors Cardiac Science as vendor of the month - July 13th, 2012
- Marking National CPR and AED Awareness Week - June 7th, 2012
- Tennessee city chooses Powerheart G3 AED for park safety - April 23rd, 2012