Is your football club prepared for sudden cardiac arrest?

Women football player lying injured on ground, while medic team helping her.

The following article is brought to you by ZOLL Medical Corporation, an Asahi Kasei Group Company that develops and markets medical devices and software solutions.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen anywhere, at any time. When it does, the victim’s best chance of survival is immediate CPR and a rescuer with an automated external defibrillator (AED). The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) recommends the availability of AEDs in places where access to emergency services may be delayed. A playing field falls into this category. Early intervention can increase survival.

It is essential for football clubs to have AEDs available on-site in case of an SCA event.

Two female soccer players on the field.

Some common misconceptions of SCA in football

“Footballers are healthy; we don’t need an AED on our field.”

Sudden cardiac arrest doesn’t discriminate. It can strike people of any age or fitness level. In Europe, more than 350,000 patients are affected by SCA every year. Most SCA events occur in public places.

“There are no SCA hazards on our playing fields.”

Many factors can bring on sudden cardiac arrest. Taking a fall, being hit by an object or any other trauma to the body can trigger a cardiac event.

Infographic regarding cardiac arrest.

Every second counts

Additionally, the football pitch may be far from a hospital, police station or fire station. When an ambulance is called for a life-threatening illness, injury or other emergency, the standard response time should be between seven and 18 minutes. For a victim of cardiac arrest, help may come too late. Every minute that passes without treatment decreases the victim’s chance of survival by 10 percent. Additionally, playing fields are often located in more remote areas. If the field is equipped with an AED, anyone on-site could use it to provide immediate high-quality CPR and a potentially life-saving shock.

While on a playing field, you should never be more than a three-minute round trip from an AED to ensure effective and rapid treatment when a medical emergency occurs. This could mean multiple AEDs are needed for large sites to ensure that no matter where an incident takes place, an AED can be located and retrieved for the victim’s best chance of survival.

Are you prepared?

Football is about community! Be prepared to treat players, supporters, families, friends and staff with a ZOLL AED.


To learn more about ZOLL AEDs and how you can fundraise for a ZOLL AED, please click here.

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