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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation for sudden cardiac arrest on the field of play: improving our standard!
  1. João João Mendes1,2,
  2. Paulo Beckert3,4
  1. 1 Intensive Care Unit, Hospital CUF Tejo, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2 Critical Care University Clinic, Faculdade de Medicina - Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  3. 3 Performance and Health Unit, Federação Portuguesa de Futebol, Lisbon, Portugal
  4. 4 Center for Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Hospital CUF Tejo, Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Professor João João Mendes, Intensive Care Unit, Hospital CUF Tejo, Lisbon 1350-352, Portugal; joaojoaomendes{at}

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Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on the field of play (FoP) is a life-threatening event which requires a prompt and coordinated medical response.1 Guidelines for implementation of an emergency medical plan (EMP) for SCA have been previously outlined by the FIFA2 and UEFA,3 but the best available evidence to respond to the unique circumstances of the football athlete with SCA on the FoP continues to evolve.

Prompt recognition of SCA is the first step in an efficient EMP (figure 1). SCA should be considered in any player who presents with a non-contact collapse, recognising that brief myoclonic seizure-like activity (eg, shaking, quivering or twitching) may follow collapse and that continued chest and abdominal movements or gasps may be mistaken for normal breathing.2

Figure 1

Emergency medical plan for SCA on the field of play. ACD, automatic chest compression device; CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; eCPR, extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation; LMA, laryngeal mask airway; SCA, sudden cardiac arrest; ROSC, return of spontaneous circulation; TT, tracheal …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the conception of this editorial. JJM wrote the first draft of the manuscript. PB provided key edits and revisions to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.