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CPR and Defibrillators Save Lives : SADS UK Press Release on Christian Eriksen’s Return to Play

December 19, 2022

Professional Danish football player Christian Eriksen went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) during Denmark’s opening game against Finland in the Euros 2020. Medical staff administered CPR, and after noticing his heart had stopped beating, called for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which shocked Eriksen’s heart back into rhythm and saved his life. This November, Christian Eriksen returned to play for his country in the World Cup because of these lifesaving actions.

At SADS UK, we applaud the quick actions of the medical staff, which demonstrates the exact sequence of actions that should be taken when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest. SADS UK are joining with the SADS Foundation, Canadian SADS Foundation and ARVC Family Support Canada to encourage communities to make public spaces heart safe as Christian Eriksen returned to play thanks to a perfectly executed Chain of Survival. 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United Kingdom, affecting around 100,000 people each year; this includes people of all ages, even schoolchildren. CPR can triple a person’s chance of survival, and an AED increases the chance of survival by 74% when administered within the first few minutes of collapse.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be the first sign of a heart problem. It affects people of all ages, including children and teens who seem fit and healthy.

Christian Eriksen’s resuscitation demonstrates the life-saving actions that must be taken immediately in an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest for the victim to have a chance to survive.   This is why SADS UK encourage and teach people to:- 

  • Know the signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  • Learn CPR
  • Make sure AEDs are maintained & accessible in public spaces
  • Make sure they register their AED on a national database called the Circuit, so that in an emergency they are made accessible by the emergency call handler

At SADS UK we encourage communities to make public spaces heart safe as Christian Eriksen returned to play in the World Cup thanks to a perfectly executed Chain of Survival. 

About SADS Conditions

Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) are genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy people. These conditions can be treated and deaths can be prevented.  

Warning Signs

Family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death under age 40; fainting or seizure during exercise, excitement or startle; consistent or unusual chest pain &/or shortness of breath during exercise. 

Using CPR alone provides a 5% chance of survival but early use of the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to over 50%. 

The sudden death of a child, young person or healthy adult is traumatic and devastating. 

SADS UK offers support to many families and individuals who have lost loved ones. 

In order to help prevent such tragedies SADS UK funds research into SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) to better understand, identify and treat the complex conditions that can cause sudden death.

If you would like further information please contact Anne Jolly MBE, SADS UK

on 01277 811215, email: [email protected]    

Notes to Editor

SADS UK Patron, Dr Hilary Jones GP, MBE says: “SADS UK is making enormous strides helping communities install defibrillators, providing support to people affected by SADS and funding research to understand more about sudden cardiac arrest and how to identify people who may be at risk and treat them.”

SADS UK Patron,  Dr Amir Khan says: “As a GP in my practice in Bradford I have experienced first-hand the devastating effect of SADS on individuals and families and have supported families through this difficult time. I endorse the work of SADS UK and their commitment to families who have been affected by SADS or are living with inherited cardiac conditions. SADS UK have worked for over 20 years placing defibrillators in schools, sports centres and communities to help save lives should a person suffer a cardiac arrest. I am proud to be a Patron of such an important charity.” Dr Amir Khan is the Resident Doctor on ITV’s Lorraine and Good Morning Britain.

Tagged in: Defibrillators, Media

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