The importance of CPR and Defibrillators

    Whether you’re a football fan or not, the hype around the Euros 2020 has been impossible to avoid. However, one of the most shocking things we’ve seen on the pitch this tournament wasn’t a goal or a tackle, it was the sudden collapse of the Danish player Christian Eriksen.

    Eriksen, the Danish midfielder, just 29 years old collapsed during the game and was resuscitated on the pitch in front of thousands of fans in the stadium, millions watching the television, his teammates and his wife.

    It has since been confirmed that he suffered a cardiac arrest and thankfully has been discharged from hospital following a successful operation in which he was fitted with a heart starting device.

    Those 10 or so long minutes which were played out on screen. From the point of his collapse, the attempts of resuscitation, the defibrillator being produced to then him being carried off the pitch by medics were excruciating for everyone watching.

    What this traumatic event has highlighted is the importance of being able to deliver CPR and how significant access to a defibrillator is in these kinds of situations.

    What is CPR and why is it important?

    CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and can mean the difference between life and death. However, it is reported that only 1 in 3 people[1] would be able to give CPR if they saw someone suffer cardiac arrest.

    Latest figures shows that less than 1 in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest if it happens out of hospital in the UK, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation decreases a person’s chances of survival by up to 10%.

    These shocking statistics reinforce just how important it is that more of the general public train to be able to deliver this lifesaving treatment.   

    The British Heart Foundation have put together a range of informative videos on how to deliver effective CPR which you can find here.

    The key message is that after a cardiac arrest every second counts and calling 999, starting chest compression CPR and using a defibrillator as soon as possible will help to save lives.

    What is a Defibrillator?

    A defibrillator is a medical tool that delivers a high energy, electric shock to the heart with the aim of restarting it.

    The benefits of using a defibrillator in the case of a cardiac arrest are huge. If a defibrillator is used within the first minute, the survival rate can be as high as 90%.

    At the moment there are around 10,000 public defibrillators[2] in the UK which all have a step-by-step guide on how to use them. However, since the collapse of Christian Eriksen, there have been calls to increase the number of publicly accessible defibrillators across the UK and internationally.

    In addition, organisations such as St John Ambulance are offering free CPR and defibrillator courses online in the hopes to save the lives of more people each year who suffer cardiac arrest out of hospital.

    Education is a huge part of encouraging more people to learn these life saving skills so by raising awareness around the impact CPR and defibrillators can have in these circumstances, the more people will feel compelled to intervene.

    From everyone at Paterson Healthcare, we wish Christian Eriksen a full recovery!

    We also provide Emergency First Aid at Work training to businesses of all sizes, to find out more please contact our team.

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    [1] https://www.thestar.co.uk/health/nhs-kicks-off-cpr-army-following-christian-eriksens-collapse-3278035

    [2] https://risk-assessment-products.co.uk/blog/how-many-lives-are-saved-by-defibrillators-in-the-uk/



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