Christian Eriksen Update After a Defibrillator Saves His Life
Following the revival of Danish soccer star Christian Eriksen who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during last week’s Euro2020 clash, NHS national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, began recruiting for “Eriksen’s Army” to teach people CPR skills and how to use defibrillators. Also, a Defibrillators Save Lives campaign was launched in the UK to have the devices installed in all public places.
Likewise, the British Heart Foundation is reinvigorating its defibrillator campaign: ‘Less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation decreases a person’s chances of survival by up to 10 per cent. However, in parts of other countries where CPR is widely taught and public access defibrillators are more readily available, survival rates are up to three times as high.’
Australia should follow suit and make defibrillators more available at work, study, play and home. The evidence is indisputable and, while many leading public and private sector organisations have already deployed defibrillators, many more are needed in community.
While CPR training is a ‘nice to have’, it is not a prerequisite, nor should be a barrier, for successful cardiac arrest outcomes. This is especially true with leading defibrillator models that provide audible coaching and feedback to untrained responders to assist them improve their CPR.
This was the finding of a 2018 Italian research paper which stated that ‘The Italian law requiring people to be certified in the use of [defibrillators] is a major limitation on their use by members of the public’.
The paper also noted that, in Italy, ‘there is currently no system to alert people nearby who may be able to assist when someone has had a cardiac arrest – such as phone apps that are used in some countries – or to automatically alert the fire brigade and police that a cardiac arrest has occurred’.
Every Australian State and Territory should encourage/mandate the deployment of defibrillators and the activation of the GoodSAM app or similar so that we can commence saving lives immediately.
We don’t need our own front page story to do the obvious…
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