(APR 3) Just over two weeks
ago Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a Sudden
Cardiac Arrest and collapsed during his team's FA Cup tie with
Tottenham Hotspurs, at White Hart Lane. No surprise this tragic
incident grabbed the headlines around the world and has
continued to do so on a daily basis.
The match was rightly abandoned, as both teams' doctors spent
around ten minutes treating the 23 year old on the pitch in
front of around 35,000 stunned fans and millions of viewers
around the World.
Those watching the
drama unfold were left in no doubt that Fabrice was fighting for
his life, as one of the doctors was quick to connect up a
defibrillator. It is this single action that could well be the
reason why Fabrice survived long enough to receive life saving
treatment in hospital.
European Society of
Cardiology spokesperson, Professor Mats Borjesson of Sahlgrenska
University in Gothenburg recently stated,. "It is well known
that rapid access to the right treatment facilities can improve
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) survival rates from 5% to well over
SCA is a condition
in which normal blood circulation abruptly stops and usually
leads to death in 95% of cases unless the patient is treated
within five minutes or so by trained medical staff using a
defibrillators are being installed in many major sporting
stadiums around the world, mainly due to the efforts of the ESC,
however this wasn't the case when Cameroon's Marc Vivien-Foe,
28, a premier league player firstly with West Ham and then
Manchester City, collapsed and died during a Confederations Cup
match against Colombia in Lyon, France in 2003.
Football is not the
only sport that has had a tragedy of this type, according to
the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, USA, in excess of a
hundred thousand young athletes, from a wide variety of sporting
disciplines, die each year from cardiovascular disorders as a
result of participation in sports.
Boxing is no
exception, in 2003 American boxer Brad Rone, who fought such
luminaries as Cedric Boswell, Vaughn Bean, Kirk Johnson, Michael
Grant, Hasim Rahman, Obed Sullivan, Fres Oquendo, Kelvin Davis
amongst others, collapsed and died in the ring in Cedar City,
Utah, during his bout with Billy Zumbrun.
Brad was hit by a
Billy Zumbrun jab just before the bell rang to end the first
round. He turned around to walk to his corner when he collapsed
and died. A ringside doctor tried to revive him using
cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but his efforts were in vain. An
autopsy later revealed Rone had died of a heart attack.
It's not just at
events that these tragedies happen, they also happen in the gym,
one such incident, a stroke rather than cardiac arrest, occurred
in December 2009, when former heavyweight boxer Harry Senior was
working as the sparring partner for Albert Sosnowski. On the
third day of sparring Harry had a stroke, the coaches rushed to
his aid but were unable to assist, due to the severity of the
stroke, and called the emergency services.
I'm pleased to say
that Harry is as tough as they come and like Fabrice survived
and is slowly but surely making a steady recovery.
Reacting to Harry's
plight BBBofC Southern Area Chairman Mick Collier not only
instigated the 'Harry Fund' and appealed to the boxing community
for their support, but also lobbied boxing gym's within the
region to ensure adequate first aid equipment being to hand.
Mick said, ôFabriceÆs plight has really bought home the fact
that heart attacks and strokes can affect fit people, including
professional sportsmen. It also highlights the importance of
having the right equipment available for any circumstance.
The BBBofC have
strict rules in place for fights, the medical teams are fully
equipped for any situation. If Fabrice had been a boxer and this
happened in the ring, I am certain that the level and speed of
assistance he received would have been exactly the same.
relatively lucky, these incidents are rare in boxing but not
unique. A few years ago Harry Senior had a major stroke when he
I don't doubt that
in Harry's case that a defibrillator would have made that much
difference but it would if someone had a cardiac arrest when
they are in the gym. For that reason alone I would urge all
boxing gym's to have one on-site as well as have all their staff
trained to use them."
The TRAD TKO Boxing
Gym, in Canning Town, London, is one of the few boxing gym's in
the country that preempted the possible mandatory requirement
for defibrillators to be installed.
With some forty plus
pros, including stars such as WBO Intercontinental Lightweight
Champion Kevin Mitchell, British Light Welterweight Champion
Colin Lynes, former British Cruiserweight Champion Leon Williams
as well as Southern Area Champions Ben Murphy and Billy Joe
Saunders, being based at the old school East End fight factory,
the TRAD TKO is still not exactly the type of place that you
would think would be pioneering such technology.
TRAD TKO boss Johnny
Eames though explained why they were the first to install the
life saving equipment late last year.
"They save lives,
simple as that.
I don't know if I
could live with myself if one of members or fighters had a heart
attack here at the gym and we weren't able to help them.
The key staff have
been trained by the Red Cross on using the defibrillator, as
well as CPR. But to be on the safe side the defibrillator we
have is idiot proof, it talks you through through what steps to
take, so can be used by an untrained person if needed.
We all like to think
it will never happen to us, but what happened at Tottenham the
other week shows that it could happen to anyone, even a
professional sportsman and for that reason alone it makes sense
to have equipment like this on-site."
that was installed at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym is supplied,
fitted and maintained by BST (Butler Safe Technologies) and it
is their state of art DOC
system, which is the world's first fully connected and
been trained on using the DOC system myself I can verify that as
Johnny says it's 'idiot proof', as throughout the operation
there is calming voice
talking you through every stage, not a recording but an actual
person you can have a
two way conversation with.
Basically in the
event of an emergency, once the DOC unit is removed from it's
a GPRS signal is sent directly to Mondial Assistance which
allows the co ordinates
to be sent directly to the emergency services, at the same time
coordinator at Mondial Assistance makes contact through the two
way speaker system on the DOC device to assist the user.
Another major safety
feature is that once the defibrillator is attached to the
patient a full ECG (electro cardio gram) is carried out, which
determines whether that person is in fact suffering from an
arrest. This takes away any judgment needed by the user.
BST's Sebastian Mann
is clearly proud of his companies product, saying, "Johnny has
it so right, it saves lives, which is the most important factor.
Over a hundred and twenty six thousand people suffer a heart
attack every year in the UK, this is the equivalent to one every
The biggest problem
is that only 5% of cardiac or heart attacks victims actually survive outside of a
hospital, unless they get adequate medical assistance quickly, really quickly.
Once the attack has
occurred you only have between three and five minutes to take action, every minute
after that represents a 10% less chance of survival.
Services response time target in London, for a Cardiac Arrest and other Category A
(immediately life-threatening) calls, being within eight minutes you can see that
having a defibrillator onsite will significantly increase thechances of saving
someone's life if they have a cardiac or heart attack in the
make for scary reading, at the same time making it clear that essential life
saving equipment such as defibrillators should be installed
within all sporting
facilities, not just for the sake of the sportsmen and women but
also the general public
that train in gyms or attend sporting events.
facilities, such as the TRAD TKO gym, have already realised the importance of having
them on the premises, hopefully more will respond in the same manner to ensure
that essential life saving equipment in on hand for the sake of their athletes and
Any gym or
organisation interested in the installation of the BST, DOC
defibrillator should contact
Sebastian Mann on 07984 548068In Light Of The Fabrice Muamba
Incident, All Sports, Including Boxing, Should Be More Prepared.
Reacting to Harry's plight BBBofC Southern Area Chairman Mick
Collier not only instigated the 'Harry Fund' and appealed to the
boxing community for their support, but also lobbied boxing
gym's within the region to ensure adequate first aid equipment
being to hand.
Note from WBAN: To learn more about the automated external
defibrillator (AED) visit the American Heart Association for
details on the AED Unit, and training.