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Automated external defibrillator in sport: absolutely always available
  1. Efraim B Kramer
  1. Divisions of Emergency Medicine + Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Efraim B Kramer, Department of Emergency Medicine, Exercise Science + Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng 2123, South Africa; Efraim.kramer{at}wits.ac.za

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“Pheidippides was a legend in ancient Greece. He ran 250 kms in 2 days to request help from the Spartans when Athens was being invaded. However, after helping defeat the Persians in Marathon, he ran 35 kms to declare victory, collapsed and died. The greatest physical specimen of super-compensated physiology became the first documented case of sudden death in an endurance athlete.”1

The role of regular exercise as a means of preventing, managing and treating disease in all ages is well described.2 ,3 Participating in sport is thus considered to be of benefit to the health of an individual and competitive athletes are often regarded as the healthiest facet of our society: “mens sana in corpore sano—a sound mind in a healthy body.”3 ,4

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in sport was a rare, yet regular event. Recently, with international media coverage5 and committed medical research,6 its rarity has come under scrutiny. Whatever its prevalence, if the end …

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