PITTSBURGH, PA -- Danish soccer player Christian Eriksen, 29, recently suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a competition in Copenhagen. Fortunately, bystanders immediately provided CPR and defibrillation to restore his heart to a normal rhythm.
The world was watching when Christian Eriksen, 29, a Danish midfielder, suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and collapsed on June 12th during Euro 2021—an international tournament of the Union of European Football Associations. Eriksen was resuscitated on the soccer field, thanks to immediate bystander CPR and defibrillation. He was then transported to a hospital and subsequently received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to protect him from future heart rhythm disturbances that can lead to SCA.
“Those of us at the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation held our breath as we witnessed the on-field collapse of Mr. Eriksen,” said Mary M. Newman, MS, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation President. “Currently only one-in-10 victims survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The immediate action of team members and bystanders saved his life.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a national non-profit focused on building awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the simple things bystanders can do to help save a life. They have an active network of survivors and survivor families committed to educating people about lifesaving techniques. According to Newman, “We know the odds of survival increase dramatically if bystanders provide immediate CPR and treat with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Even if emergency medical services arrive at the scene quickly, in most cases, the victim’s fate is determined before EMS arrival.”
AEDs are designed for use by laypersons—even those who have not undergone training. The devices themselves provide simple real-time instructions.
“We urge the public to learn how to recognize SCA and how to help save a life with CPR and AEDs,” Newman said. “We have a simple phrase that helps the public know what to do: ‘Call-Push-Shock.’ By following Call-Push-Shock, the bystander can remember: call 911, give CPR, and use an AED.”
“The story of Mr. Eriksen’s SCA is not as unusual as one might think,” Newman concluded. “Many of our survivors were seemingly healthy people with no known heart impairments.” Newman believes this underscores the importance of education and having AEDs accessible wherever possible, including sports venues for kids and adults. “SCA can strike anywhere, without warning. You never know whose life may be saved next.”
About Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a national community benefit 501(c)(3) organization. Our vision is to eliminate preventable death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest and support people affected by SCA. Our mission is to raise awareness of SCA and promote initiatives that help save lives through education, research, and community. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a proud co-sponsor of the Call-Push-Shock movement. For more information, visit https://www.sca-aware.org.