THE Christian Eriksen incident highlighted the need for participants in football to be prepared.
The situation which unfolded in the Denmark versus Finland Euro 2020 game was truly frightening. Thankfully due to the speed and expertise of the treatment available, including from his own team-mates, it seems Christian Eriksen’s life has been saved.
All Step 1-4 NLS clubs are required to have a defibrillator (AED) on site, that will soon be extended to Step 5 & 6 clubs as well, but the weekend has encouraged widespread consideration and reflection throughout local football.
Grassroots football will never have the calibre of medical care immediately available at matches as a game at the European Championships, but there are a number of things all participants can do to be as prepared as possible should the worst happen to any player, official, volunteer or spectator:
- The FA have a free 30 minutes Sudden Cardiac Arrest module available on The Bootroom https://thebootroom.thefa.com/learning/qualifications/medical-courses. Any participant in the game can access this module with the email address associated with their FA Number. There are also a number of resources available with this course, including an Emergency Action Plan template which can be completed, circulated and displayed.
- The FA Introduction to First Aid in Football is a two-hour, online course available for £30. It covers wider aspects of emergency care including dealing with a sudden cardiac arrest https://thebootroom.thefa.com/learning/qualifications/medical-courses
- Communicate and prominently display the postcode of each facility in case emergency services ever need to be called.
- Communicate and prominently display the postcode of the emergency access to each facility (if this is different to the main entrance).
- Consider using the What Three Words website to pinpoint the location of exact access points, so these can be given in the event of emergency services being called https://what3words.com
- Make sure any keys or methods of opening emergency access are always available and widely known about.
- Find out and communicate where your nearest community AED is.
- If you would like to purchase an AED, visit www.footballdefibs.org as per the attached. Cabinets can also be purchased here. The FA have arranged a discount from £1,350 + VAT to £750 + VAT; funding for the remaining may be available through local councillor locality budgets or other sources.
- Register your AED with The Circuit, the national defibrillator network www.thecircuit.uk
- Download an app such as the St John Ambulance First Aid app, which will provide instruction on delivering CPR and other forms of treatment.
A reminder that in February 2020 we introduced Medical ID Cards for all Suffolk match officials to voluntarily carry within their referee wallet. Included on the card will be any known medical conditions for the match official, in case they get into difficulty at a match.
Concussion has also been a prominent subject in football recently, and The FA have a free 20 minutes Concussion Guidelines module available on The Bootroom https://thebootroom.thefa.com/learning/qualifications/medical-courses. Any participant in the game can access this module with the email address associated with their FA Number.
Please contact a member of the Suffolk FA team if you would like to discuss further on 01449 616606 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Players from Holbrook Hornets Youth FC are pictured above in January 2019 after the club was presented with a defibrillator the club won in a competition after Suffolk FA staff successfully completed their #LiveFootballChallenge during the previous October’s Love Football, Live Football Week sponsored by MH Goals Ltd.