Burnley Football Club and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) have teamed up for the second year to show match goers how easy it is to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest.
Football fans attending the Burnley v Chelsea match on Sunday 12th February at Burnley Football Club will be given demonstrations of CPR by NWAS and have the opportunity to have a go themselves.
Following the success of last year’s Saving Lives event, Club Doctor at Burnley Football Club, Simon Morris has overseen its return. He explained: “We’ve seen many high-profile cases of cardiac arrest in football, including Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba (who collapsed during a match with Tottenham Hotspur in 2012), which prove that this potentially tragic experience can happen to anyone.
“Imagine the scenario; you are walking along the road with your best friend, getting excited about the match. Suddenly he doesn’t feel very well, holds his chest and tries to sit down on the pavement.
“Next thing you know he is lying motionless on his back. Would you know what to do? What you do next could save his life. That’s what we want to try and provide potentially vital life-saving information to our supporters at today’s game.”
When somebody goes into cardiac arrest, it means that their heart has stopped pumping blood around the body, they will lose consciousness almost at once and there are no other signs of life.
• In the UK alone, around 30,000 cardiac arrests occur out of hospital each year
• 80 per cent occur in the home
• 20 per cent occur in public places
Some cases of cardiac arrest can be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall using a defibrillator, whilst simple chest compressions and rescue breaths keep blood and oxygen circulating in the body, preventing damage to organs such as the brain.
Community Resuscitation Development Officer for NWAS, Jane Atkinson, said: “Once a person has gone into cardiac arrest, there are only a vital few minutes in which there’s a chance to save their life as every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces chances of survival by up to 10 per cent.
“This is why it is so important for people in the community to learn simple life-saving skills as starting CPR as soon as possible, even before an ambulance is able to get there, can dramatically improve a patient’s chance of survival.
“It’s important for people to remember that they cannot make someone in cardiac arrest any worse and not to be afraid to start CPR should they need to.”
Before the game, NWAS will be present in the club’s ‘Fanzone’ teaching match-goers the life-saving skills. This will be followed by a half-time display on the pitch from NWAS volunteers who will be demonstrating CPR and how to use a defibrillator to thousands of fans.
Each year, UK Ambulance Services respond to approximately 60,000 cases of suspected cardiac arrest. Resuscitation is attempted in less than half of these cases. Training members of the public to perform CPR and by using an automated external defibrillator (AED) will double the chances of survival and could save thousands of lives each year.
To find out more about NWAS’ work to increase the survival of cardiac arrests, including details of free training courses and how to get a defibrillator, visit www.nwas-responder.info or www.cardiacsmart.nwas.nhs.uk or search #CardiacSmart.