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Denmark’s players prepare for their second game of the 2020 European Championship today as they take on World number-one ranked Belgium, in what would typically be their toughest challenge of a tournament. However, it’s dwarfed in importance by the events of last Saturday. The World was shocked last Saturday when Dane talisman CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN’S EURO 2020 CARDIAC ARREST after suffering a cardiac arrest. Eriksen was ‘gone’, according to team doctor Morten Boesen, prior to the medical staff’s cardiac resuscitation. 

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-57503062 | Getty Images

Whilst it was ultimately positive news for Eriksen, The British Heart Foundation estimates that 10,000 people needlessly die in the UK, due to our bystander CPR rate being as low as 39% in some areas, compared to 73% in Norway.

So what lessons can we take away from the event?

The early moments are hugely important

No one wants to be in a situation where they are forced to act in place of medical professionals. However, the impact of bystander CPR is critical. In fact, NEJM claims that the 30-day survival rate for patients who receive CPR before the arrival of emergency medical services was ‘more than double’ that of patients who did not. 

Fortunately for Erikson, his captain Simon Kjaer secured the former’s neck, cleared his airways and started CPR. To make his actions even more heroic, he then encouraged the players to form a protective shield around Erikson to provide privacy from cameras, even consoling Erikson’s visibly upset wife once the medics were present. 

Doctors the world over have claimed that Kjaer ‘saved his friend’s life’, and it shows us how important it is to act swiftly.

Learn how to administer CPR

This may seem obvious, but people fall victim to many different reasons in not learning emergency first-aid. Whilst many people simply don’t get around to learning it, others may hold the belief that it’s too expensive to learn, or too stressful as they would then consider themselves responsible at the scenes of potential incidents. 

In fact, a British Red Cross poll of more than 2,000 adults across the UK found that nearly two-thirds of respondents thought people avoid learning first aid because of the responsibility it carries.

However, whilst learning first-aid is an undertaking that should be taken seriously, it can also be interesting and highly rewarding. 

You can see our range of First-Aid Courses here.

Try to locate an AED

Defibrillators can often be the difference in someone surviving a cardiac arrest.
There are many fixed AED points in public places and office blocks so it’s always worth being aware of your nearest one, especially if you are a regular visitor to a location, such as an office. However, modern AED’s are also extremely portable, so if you find yourself in a situation whereby you need an AED, always ask any bystander if they can help locate one, whilst you continue with CPR.

Encourage others to do the same. 

While it is one thing to learn emergency CPR for yourself, there is also huge value in encouraging those around you to do the same.
If you manage a team or know people who require a little bit of encouragement to take new skills on, then you can make a real difference in leading by example.

Being fit doesn’t always prevent serious incidents.

Christian Eriksen is 29-years-old and has played 226 games in the Premier League – known to be the most physically demanding of all the elite football leagues. His cardiologist at Tottenham has said since the incident that Erikson’s heart health was ‘completely norma’, a message echoed by his current club doctor at Inter Milan, Piero Volpi.

So while it’s clear that we should all adopt healthy lifestyle choices, it’s worth keeping in mind that everyone can be affected by emergency situations. 

Closing thoughts

Learning how to respond to a first aid emergency is one of the most worthwhile uses of your time and resources. Fortunately, the fast response of the referee – the game was stopped and medics signalled within 5 seconds of Eriksen collapsing – and the players and medical staff ensured this incident did not end in tragedy like CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN’S EURO 2020 CARDIAC ARREST.

It may be worth reflecting on how you and your team can be ready to deal with a similar situation. 

You can view our range of First-Aid courses here