Christian Eriksen, a 29-year-old football player for Denmark, recently collapsed in front of tens of thousands of spectators during the Euro2020 match between Denmark and Finland. Doctors have confirmed that he suffered cardiac arrest and was revived with an electrical shock.
According to preliminary reports, Eriksen’s heart stopped beating. However, because there was a medical team right there at the stadium, they began chest compressions to maintain blood flow. This is what probably saved his life.
He is now awake and stable, but he did suffer a cardiac arrest. The question is: if this can happen to a professional athlete, does it mean this can happen to anyone?
According to a paper published in the European Heart Journal, sudden cardiac arrest accounts for 50% of cardiovascular deaths and 20% of all natural deaths in the West. A cardiac arrest can happen anytime and anywhere. Taking immediate action is critical for survival.
Here are a few tips on how to determine when somebody needs help, and if they do, how to help them:
Determining When Someone Needs Help
- If they are not breathing or gasping for air.
- If they are not moving or blinking.
- If they are not responding, even to hard taps.
How to Help Them
- Begin chest compressions by pushing down on the centre of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute.
- Make sure to allow the chest to come back to its normal position after each push.
- Call an ambulance immediately.
- Ask people around you to locate an automated external defibrillator (AED) and follow stated instructions.
Keep in mind that chest compressions could probably save a life. As Prof Stephan Achenbach, President of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), says: “You can´t do any harm by doing chest compressions, but you can save a life if the person is indeed in cardiac arrest.”
Christian Eriksen was lucky because he got immediate help. Many lives can be saved if others could get the same help and support if they are ever in a similar situation.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons via soccer.ru