The recent collapse of Danish footballer Christen Eriksen at Euro 2020 demonstrated how CPR really can save lives.
Dr Louise Buchanan, a Consultant Cardiologist at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, has issued a reminder about the importance of learning CPR – and refreshing your first aid skills.
Dr Buchanan said: “I was told about the incident and was glad to hear that the footballer had been immediately resuscitated. This shows the skill and rapid action of the people present. In event of cardiac arrest, it’s crucial to call 999 for help, start CPR immediately and ask someone for a public access defibrillator. This gives the best chance of recovery.”
The 29-year-old former Spurs footballer was given emergency CPR on the pitch at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen after collapsing during the first half of his side's 1-0 Group B defeat by Finland on Saturday night.
Medics said he was “gone” but swift treatment on the pitch – and by hospital staff – meant the midfielder was stabilised and was later able to send greetings to his team mates.
Medics have now said Eriksen, who plays for Inter Milan, will have a heart-starter (ICD) device implanted.
Dr Buchannan added: “He now needs a full work-up to find the underlying cause – professional footballers are obviously very fit and will undergo screening for heart disease with a range of diagnostic tests, however some cardiac conditions may be silent with the first presentation with a cardiac arrest and aborted sudden cardiac death. As cardiologists, we do occasionally see this occurring in young patients unfortunately and is difficult when there are no clear immediate answers. It is rare though for incidents like this to occur.”
Videos are available on the British Heart Foundation website about how to give CPR. One of them features former footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones.
Dr Buchanan said: “People are scared they are going to hurt the patient but they can call 999 and someone will talk you through what to do. It is important to stay calm and people should refresh their skills in case they are ever needed.”
With the risk of Coronavirus (Covid-19), The Resuscitation Council are advising NOT to give rescue breaths and to perform hands-only CPR.
How to do Hands-only CPR
When somebody collapses in front of you, what do you do?
- Check the person over. If they are not responsive and not breathing normally, then their heart has stopped working and they are having a cardiac arrest.
- Now, call 999. Then you do Hands-only CPR.
- Do not put your face close to theirs. If you think there's risk of infection, use a towel or a piece of clothing and lay it over their mouth and nose.
- Put one hand on top of the other, interlinking your fingers. Your hand on the bottom should have the fingers open. Lock your fingers together, knuckles up. Then push down, in the middle of the chest right on the sovereign. Push down five or six centimetres. That’s about two inches. Push hard and fast about two times a second, like to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. Don’t worry about hurting someone. A cracked rib can be mended –just concentrate on saving a life.
- Keep this up until the ambulance arrives.
- After the ambulance have taken over wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand gel.
So don’t forget. Check them over. Call 999. Push hard and fast to Stayin’ Alive. It works. Hands-only CPR. It’s not as hard as it looks.