Michael Fabricant has joined cross-party calls for more defibrillators to be installed at football clubs around the country following the cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen. “I have joined Mary Foy, the Labour MP for Durham, calling on the Football Association to provide additional funding and speed up the installation of this life saving equipment” says Michael Fabricant.
“Cardiac arrests like Christian Eriksen’s are thankfully very rare: around 1 in 50,000 among sportspeople. But as we witnessed, they do occur and are far more common amongst spectators. The Denmark v Finland game also highlighted how crucial it is that there is pitch side access to life-saving medical equipment whether that be at the European Championships in Copenhagen, an Under-15s game in Burntwood, a walking football match in Lichfield, or a 5-a-side pick up game in Birmingham. Christian Eriksen’s life was undoubtedly saved by the quick actions of the players, officials, and medical staff in Copenhagen.
“The response, especially by Danish captain Simon Kjaer and Referee Anthony Taylor, has shown the need for the expansion of the FA’s Emergency Aid course to become compulsory to a delegation of players, coaches, and referees at each grassroots club and County FA up and down the country. The FA Emergency Aid course ‘aims to provide the participant with the knowledge, practical skills and confidence to be able to attend a conscious or unconscious casualty, ensuring that appropriate care is given until the emergency medical services arrive and takeover’. These were skills we saw to life-saving effect on the pitch in Copenhagen. It took just 1 minute and 48 seconds for responders to begin CPR at the match in Denmark; expanding participation in the Emergency Aid course will help more people feel comfortable in their skills of CPR and other life-saving procedures. But equipment is needed too.”
In a joint letter to the FA, Mary and Michael say: “We call on the FA to give an update on the take up of phased rollout of discounted defibrillators that was announced in 2019’s ‘Heart Safe’ campaign for grassroots clubs. Further to that, we call on the FA to provide regular updates on the number of defibrillators that have been installed in grassroots clubs and pitches around the country as the game continues to grow in the UK, working with local authorities to ensure that at sporting venues no one is more than one minute away from a defibrillator. We also call on the FA to fund defibrillators for grassroots clubs that need them, rather than offering discounts.”