Earlier this month, in the same week that CPR and AED Awareness took place, the sad news was reported that former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote passed away after collapsing in training. This followed the death of Ugo Ehiogu, a Tottenham coach, who passed away in similar circumstances earlier this year. It seems that by pushing their bodies to the max, sportspeople may have heightened risk of suffering with cardiac attacks.

CPR and AED Awareness week took place in the US, organised by the American Heart Association. Its tagline is simple but poignant: two steps to save a life. The two steps involved are as follows, call 911 and push hard and fast. Sounds simple? I raise this issue in my latest Passle because it’s a subject that needs to be discussed as it’s in the public's minds following recent tragedies.  

It is important to remember that there are success stories. When Fabrice Muamba collapsed during a match in 2012, a top cardiologist rushed onto the pitch from the crowd and was widely believed to have been integral in Muamba’s survival and recovery.

Furthermore, it was heart-warming to see David Ginola look so well at last month’s White Hart Lane farewell, joyously filming himself walk out onto the pitch just 12 months after collapsing having suffered a cardiac arrest during an exhibition match in France. On this occasion, a friend of Ginola, and the only person present who was CPR qualified, rushed to his aid and administered the procedure. The cardiologist who later operated on Ginola stated that he would have been braindead were it not for his friend’s actions. 

This is of course a very small case study, but it’s clear that CPR and AED training will increase a cardiac-arrest sufferers chances of survival. In the UK, St Johns Ambulance do a fantastic job, but does the average person know about their Supporting First Aid Awareness Week?

Awareness of this issue needs to be widened greatly in order to ultimately persuade the powers that be to make this training obligatory for students. In the meantime, more events and awareness campaigns are a priority as we must not stand by whilst people’s health is neglected.

Ginola and Muamba are living examples of people who have survived after being successfully treated by trained individuals, let’s not rest on our laurels, they must not be the exception.