Defib charity sees massive spike in requests after Eriksen collapse

A West Midlands charity that helps buy life-saving defibrillators was inundated with requests following distressing scenes of a footballer having a cardiac arrest during a high-profile international match.

Jamie Richards of defibrillator charity AEDDonate
Jamie Richards of defibrillator charity AEDDonate

Midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during a game between Denmark and Finland in the European Championship, watched by the world.

Upsetting scenes followed as he could be seen receiving care and being resuscitated on the pitch, but his heart was restarted with the use of a automated external defibrillator (AED).

AEDDonate, which is based in Stone and has shops including in Market Drayton and around Staffordshire, saw its busiest week on record following Eriksen's collapse on June 12.

The charity, which has helped fund defibrillators at the Grove School and Longlands Primary School in Market Drayton, received 754 requests for help last week – typically there would be about 30 in a week.

Chief executive officer Jamie Richards said that the team had processed 94 per cent of the requests but was still working through the massive backlog.

"It's provided fantastic awareness," he said. "It's just a shame that it takes something so public and something so awful to happen for that to be the case.

"I didn't know about [Eriksen] until later, I was out and about at the time. I heard something in the news and went to look it up.

"Me being me I sort of guessed what was going on. [In the footage] it was quite apparent he did have a sudden cardiac arrest.

"It always takes something like this to happen for people to realise... he's young, he's fit – he's a footballer. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time.

"The only way out of it is excellent CPR, which he received, and the use of a defibrillator."

AEDDonate has just this week facilitated two defibrillators being installed at a football club in Wales.

"Our mission is to get as many defibs out there as possible. Proper installation and proper registration with the ambulance service is key.

"The more defibrillators we get out there, the more lives we are going to save. It's as simple as that.

"It's all about time. We want there to be a defib within a brisk two-minute walk of anyone."

AEDDonate also provides education and awareness events on the proper use of defibrillators, currently provided over Zoom.

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