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Sudden cardiac arrest on the football field of play—highlights for sports medicine from the European Resuscitation Council 2015 Consensus Guidelines
  1. E B Kramer1,
  2. L Serratosa2,
  3. J Drezner3,
  4. J Dvorak4
  1. 1Section Sports Medicine, Pretoria University, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  2. 2Sports Cardiology, Rippol Y de Prado Sports Clinic, Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  4. 4FIFA/F-MARC, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Professor EB Kramer, Section Sports Medicine, Pretoria University, Pretoria 2123, South Africa; efraim.kramer{at}


The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) 2015 Guidelines for Resuscitation were published recently. For the first time, these guidelines included a subsection on ‘cardiac arrest during sports activities’ in the section dealing with cardiac arrest in special circumstances, endorsing both the importance and unique nature of this form of cardiac arrest. This paper reviews four critical areas in the management of sudden cardiac arrest in a football player: recognition, response, resuscitation and removal from the field of play. Expeditious response with initiation of immediate resuscitation at the side of a collapsed player remains crucial for survival, and chest compressions should be continued until the automated external defibrillator (AED) has been fully activated, so that the sideline medical team response to the side of a non-contact collapsed player on the field of play, with AED and defibrillation, occurs within a maximum of 2 min from collapse.

  • Resuscitation
  • AED
  • Cardiovascular

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