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Argus article June 2021

Many of us are currently engrossed in the Euro’s – cheering on Wales and enjoying international sport once again. Sports has the power to bring communities together, but last weekend went beyond sport as many of us watched the terrifying moment in the Denmark vs. Finland match when Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.

In that moment many of us would feel hopeless but his team-mate Simon Kjaer stepped up and began CPR almost immediately. His decisive action may well have saved Eriksen’s life.

Alongside Mr Kjaer there was a team of medics immediately on hand to help, they had also just been given training on life saving treatment by a doctor who happened to be in the stands.

There was a lot on Mr Eriksen’s side that day but not everyone is so lucky.

According to the British Heart Foundation only 1 in 10 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

On Thursdays match between Belgium and Denmark the BHF premiered a powerful advert asking all of us to take CPR training.

In 2019 I undertook an afternoon of training with the British Heart Foundation. It was so simple and only took a couple of hours, however, it is reassuring to know that should the situation unfortunately arise that I may be able to help someone.

If you see someone have a cardiac arrest it is crucial you call 999. While you wait for medics to arrive preforming CPR could be the difference between life and death.

The British Heart Foundation reported that in a recent survey, three quarters of people would not feel confident enough to act if they witnessed someone having a cardiac arrest. If more people undertake CPR training, and more awareness is raised over the importance of people knowing CPR and acting if they see someone who needs help, hopefully we can change this statistic.

Alongside CPR, the other major factor that can affect survivability from a cardiac arrest is the use of defibrillators. For every minute it takes for a defibrillator to be found, the chances of survival reduce.  Simply put, we need far more defibrillators. They have instructions on them and are designed to be easy to use. You do not need to be trained to use them on someone, and they could save a life. By equipping schools, workplaces, sports grounds, and even local parks and communities with defibrillators we can increase the chances of someone surviving a cardiac arrest.

You never know when the time could come when you are called upon to help. So many lives could be saved if we all learned CPR and pushed for more defibrillators in our local areas.

You can find out more about learning CPR at Learn how to save a life – CPR | British Heart Foundation (bhf.org.uk)