Irish Heart Foundation urges sports clubs to be Heartsafe

The Irish Heart Foundation has called on sports clubs around the country to become Heartsafe as a matter of urgency so they are ready to react quickly to cardiac arrest with lifesaving CPR skills and defibrillation. The latest plea follows the shocking collapse of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba with cardiac arrest during the FA Cup.

Brigid Sinnott, Irish Heart Foundation resuscitation expert, said: “Sudden cardiac arrests can happen at any time without warning and many incidents happen in front of friends or family which is why bystander CPR is so important. For every minute a person is collapsed without receiving CPR or defibrillation, their chance of survival decreases by between seven and 10 per cent per minute. After five minutes, their chance of survival may be reduced by as much as 50 per cent. But with bystander CPR and the availability of a defibrillator within minutes, their chances can greatly improve. I have no doubt that the immediate use of CPR and a defibrillator is the reason Fabrice Muamba has survived.”

The Irish Heart Foundation recommends that sports clubs put the following measures in place:

Always have a number of people trained in CPR and how to use a defibrillator on site at matches and training sessions.

Ensure the location of defibrillators (AEDs ) is visible and that they are maintained.

Ensure regular training in CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

Always call emergency services in the event of collapse, even if there is an AED on site.

For more information about the Heartsafe programme or CPR training, call the Irish Heart Foundation on 01 6685001 or see www.irishheart.ie

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