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Leisure bosses failed to use defibrillator in tragic death of young footballer

Published on 15th January 2014

It emerged last week that an on-site defibrillator was available when talented young footballer Jamie Skinner collapsed, but was not used by two trained members of staff at the Edinburgh venue.

Talented Jamie, 13, collapsed on the pitch five minutes into the second half in his debut for Tynecastle FC under-14s on December 22nd. Bystanders battled to save him, whilst the two trained members of staff concentrated on calling 999 and opening entrance gates.

Scottish Ambulance Service arrived 11 minutes after receiving the call, and proceeded to use their own AED to give Jamie two shocks. He was later pronounced dead at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The staff members have since been suspended pending an investigation into the events in December.

It is not known if Jamie would have survived if he received early defibrillation, but he would have had a better chance.

This tragic story highlights two very important points:

Firstly, with the chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) reducing by 20% for every minute that passes without treatment, by the time emergency services arrive on the scene it can often be too late.

Secondly, it also shows why it is important to not only train all staff who have access to defibrillators, but also make everyone including the general public more aware of its presence, and when to use it.

Take a look at Martek Lifecare’s training products to make sure all members of your staff are trained in CPR and AED use.