Introduction Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a rare but tragic part of professional and amateur sport. Following multiple high profile deaths in professional sport over the past two decades, there has been a significant trend towards the widespread availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at amateur sports grounds.
Objectives To examine the availability of AEDs in amateur sports clubs in Cork, Ireland, and to investigate club practices with respect to the purchase, accessibility, maintenance and use of AEDs.
Design A cross-sectional survey of 218 amateur Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), soccer and rugby clubs was conducted between July and September 2012. Club committee representatives answered a 22-point questionnaire.
Results 126 GAA clubs and 28 soccer and 17 rugby (n=171) clubs were enrolled in this study. A total of 81.3% of amateur clubs own an AED. We estimate an AED-use rate of one AED use for every 54.5 years an AED is available. Almost 50% of club representatives thought the location of their club AED could be improved while 12.9% of clubs admitted to not maintaining their club AED on a regular basis.
Conclusions A large proportion of amateur clubs in Cork City and County own an AED. Many clubs engage in regular maintenance and storage of AEDs. However, this study identifies several areas for improvement in facilitating a secure chain of survival for players in the event of an SCA.
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