Call for emergency gear on pitches
Every football pitch around the globe should have emergency care equipment on hand to help treat any players that suffer the same condition as former footballer Fabrice Muamba, experts have said.
Muamba was effectively dead for more than an hour when he collapsed following a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match last year.
Now researchers have said that officials at games around the world should adopt a universal standard of emergency medical care, set out by the world's football governing body FIFA, to curb the potential for serious injuries and deaths.
Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the international panel of experts said there should be consistent standard in care available to players who need urgent medical attention for injuries or conditions such as sudden cardiac arrest.
Examining FIFA's emergency medical bag and the organisation's "11 steps to prevent sudden cardiac death", the experts said the recommendations create a "global standard for emergency preparedness".
They said the emergency care kits contain a comprehensive inventory of essential but generic equipment which can be used anywhere in the world at amateur or professional levels.
In June this year, the emergency medical bag was sent to all of the 209 member associations of FIFA.
And the guidance on sudden cardiac arrest - the leading cause of sudden death in football - outlines "fundamental measures" to prevent a player dying from the condition, the experts said.
They said: "The FIFA Medical Emergency Bag (FMEB) and FIFA 11 steps to prevent sudden cardiac death are part of a comprehensive preventative programme to appropriately manage sudden cardiac arrest and other acute life threatening or serious field-of-play medical emergencies.
"The FMEB is the proposed medical equipment standard to be provided at every football field and to be used when medical emergencies arise."
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