The Irish Heart Foundation has called on sports clubs around the country to become ‘Heartsafe’ as a matter of urgency so they are ready to react quickly to cardiac arrest with lifesaving CPR skills and defibrillation.
The latest plea follows the shocking collapse of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba with cardiac arrest during the FA Cup quarter final. According to the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke which has promoted resuscitation skills since 1995, providing training in CPR and defibrillator usage is vital to save lives in sports clubs and communities in Ireland.
Every year an estimated 5,000 people die suddenly from cardiac arrest in Ireland and between 70 to 100 of these deaths occur in people under 35 years old and Brigid Sinnott of the Irish Heart Foundation resuscitation expert said: “Sudden cardiac arrests can happen at any time without warning and many incidents happen in front of friends or family which is why bystander CPR is so important.
“For every minute a person is collapsed without receiving CPR or defibrillation, their chance of survival decreases by between 7 and 10 per cent per minute. After five minutes, their chance of survival may be reduced by as much as 50 per cent. But with bystander CPR and the availability of a defibrillator within minutes, their chances can greatly improve. I have no doubt that the immediate use of CPR and a defibrillator is the reason Fabrice Muamba has survived.”
The Irish Heart Foundation’s Heartsafe Community Programme encourages all communities, schools, workplaces, healthcare facilities and towns/villages to strengthen the links in the ‘Chain of Survival’, namely – call 999 or 112, start early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care in hospital. The Heartsafe accreditation is valid for two years on completion of CPR training, having a defibrillator programme and having a written emergency programme.
For more information about the Heartsafe programme or CPR training, call the Irish Heart Foundation on 01 6685001 or see www.irishheart.ie