The football world was shaken this afternoon, as Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed suddenly during their EURO 2020 group match with Finland in Copenhagen. Thankfully, he has been stabilised in hospital, with his agent reporting that he is conscious and speaking.
It was a terrifying incident that could have had a much worse outcome if it weren't for the quick and decisive action of referee Anthony Taylor, and Eriksen's Danish teammates. Within mere seconds of Eriksen falling to the ground, Taylor had stopped the game and called for medics to attend to the Inter Milan player.
It took Anthony Taylor just 5 seconds after Eriksen collapsed to stop the game and send the medics onto the field.
His calm decisive actions can’t go unnoticed. 🇩🇰🙏 pic.twitter.com/1z4fHVu8oZ
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) June 12, 2021
His teammate Simon Kjaer was reported to have protected Eriksen's neck and airway before medics had arrived on the scene. The distressing attempts at resuscitation were inexcusably broadcast live on TV screens around the world, but the quick action of the medics and Taylor and Kjaer showed how important knowledge of resuscitation is in sport.
After the incident, many footballers, pundits, and public figures spoke out about the importance of things such as knowing the location of defibrillators in your local club - and, if necessary, making sure your club even has one.
As our coach @Noel_Sritharan just said in our @bufc_youth WhatsApp group, "stuff like this, which nobody ever wants to see or experience, needs to be a wake up call. Defibs save lives"
Every single club everywhere at whatever level needs to invest in one if they haven't yet
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 12, 2021
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) June 12, 2021
It’s worth thinking about, do you know where the closest Defibrillator is to you now? To your local sports club? Would you know what to do with one? First aid courses are available, they are free and they save lives.
— PJ Gallagher (@pjgallagher) June 12, 2021
Such an incredible relief - pray it stays that way. The ref, players, physios, doctors deserve all the praise in the world. And a reminder that every football ground, from elite to grass roots need a defibrillator and people trained to use it ❤️❤️❤️
— Max Rushden 💙 (@maxrushden) June 12, 2021
If your sports club doesn’t have a defib, now is a good time to look at getting one.
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) June 12, 2021
CPR training was also mentioned by fans and pundits alike on social media as a crucial skill for any players to learn.
The quick action of the players and medics was crucial to reviving Eriksen, but that action came from a clear knowledge of CPR and immediate recognition of what had happened to the midfielder. It's unclear to us just yet what the exact nature of Eriksen's collapse was, but the quick action to protect his airways and get the medics on pitch was undeniably crucial to his safety.
Given the evidence of Eriksen's collapse and recovery, there can be no arguments as to the benefits of CPR training, and there will surely now be a major push from sports clubs across the world to ensure that they have adequate defibrillators available.
Thankfully, Christian Eriksen appears to be on the road to recovery after his scary incident in Copenhagen. To ensure that's the case if similar incidents happen in the future, it's essential that clubs and facilities from grassroots level up make sure to educate members on CPR procedures and invest in defibrillators. If any takeaway comes from today, that must be it.