Grassroots Football Gets Defib Boost From The FA
Mon 18th Mar 2013 | Football Governance
One year on from Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane, The Football Association (FA) and British Heart Foundation (BHF) have teamed up to make defibrillators available to clubs in England
In a unique partnership, more than 900 defibrillators will be made available to clubs at Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System and clubs in the Women’s Super League to help save the lives of cardiac arrest casualties.
The initiative will create 1000s of life-savers by giving players, staff and fans access to the equipment and information needed to save a life, including hands-only CPR which was made famous for the BHF by football legend Vinnie Jones.
The charity will match an initial donation of £400,000 from The FA towards the cost of the defibrillators, with the final £400,000 made up of contributions from clubs.
With two-thirds of the cost of a brand new life-saving defibrillator being provided to clubs by The FA and BHF, eligible clubs are now able to apply to the fund to secure the equipment and then learn more about how it can save lives.
Awareness around sudden cardiac arrests was heightened when Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in the Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers FA Cup tie on 17 March last year. Muamba’s story is even more remarkable as only around one in ten people normally survive a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.
Mike Healy, The FA’s Head of Medical Education, added: “For over 20 years The FA has recognised the importance of timely and appropriate first aid for casualties in football environments.
“Individuals of all ages can die from cardiac arrest, even athletes who appear to be in the prime of their physical fitness.
"The chance of survival from a cardiac arrest is promoted by the timely use of a defibrillator, by early cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and by quick access to an appropriate clinical environment.
"However, it is vitally important that someone responds to preserve the life and promote recovery of the casualty until more advanced medical care can be provided.”
Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, added: “The rules of cardiac arrest are really very simple: there is no chance of survival without prompt CPR and a defibrillator.
“The importance of these machines in the chain of survival cannot be underestimated and a new partnership between the nation’s heart charity and The FA promises to make a difference between life and death in many of our clubs and their communities.
“This is a chance to equip many of our football clubs with the life-saving skills and equipment which will improve this country’s very poor cardiac arrest survival rates.”
Posted by: Aaron Gourley
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