By: Sattwik Biswal
IT was a scary sight when Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during an European Championship game against Finland earlier this year.
He suffered cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the pitch before being taken to hospital. Denmark’s team doctor later revealed that Eriksen’s heart stopped and “he was gone” before being resuscitated with a defibrillator on the pitch.
It was the timely intervention and availability of a defibrillator at the ground that saved a life.
A similar situation played out in Birmingham last month on a cricket pitch when a local batsman during a match collapsed, but fortunately with a defibrillator being available at the ground, the cricketer was revived.
It was a match between Bridge Trust CC and Withshaw CC. The game was a rain-curtailed 20-overs-per-side match. However, in the 19th over, Withshaw captain, David after hitting a six collapsed on the pitch. The players immediately started CPR and the groundsman, Ian Allmark, reacted fast and showing presence of mind, collected the defibrillator from the clubhouse, and applied it to David.
Ian, a trained first-aider himself and with help from other two aiders did the procedure to revive the cricketer before two ambulances swung into action.
The defibrillator was supplied as part of a major programme by the Club Cricket Charity, working with the Community Heartbeat Trust charity and National Asian Cricket Council (NACC), supported by a grant from the ECB to give access to defibrillators for grassroots clubs. Moreover, as an ambassador of NACC, England international Moeen Ali too supports the programme.
Gulfraz Riaz, chair of NACC, said: “The National Asian Cricket Council has supported the distribution of free defibrillators to the south Asian cricketing community in England & Wales since 2019. By the end of this year we would have administered the delivery and in some cases training of close to 200 defibrillators. We are pleased that on this occasion we were able to have a defibrillator on site when it was most needed.”
He added: “The machine was left behind by NACC because one of our Asian teams uses that facility as well. The best form of integration is by sharing and our Asian teams are sharing grounds that belong to English clubs…the most important thing here was to share the defibrillator.
“When the machine was brought on by the groundsman from the building onto the pitch, the first shock, and the second shock didn’t work. It was the third shock that brought him back to life, then shortly after that the ambulance arrived – and they said without this machine being used on him, he would have been dead.”
In July this year, a 44-year-old from Barry and father of three, playing for Sully Centurions Cricket Club on a Saturday afternoon had a heart attack and collapsed on the ground. A defibrillator might have resuscitated the cricketer.
Reports suggest there was a defibrillator located next to the cricket pitch that had been funded by the community, but it seemed no one was aware of it.