Prevention the best policy for Peru

At the end of last month the Peruvian Football Association (FPF) organised a workshop on heart attacks in football, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques and the use of defibrillators. Held at the FPF’s main auditorium, the event was attended by its paramedical and administrative staff and by doctors from all Peru’s first and second division clubs and the country’s national teams.  

FIFA has repeatedly reminded the world of football that each and every stadium should be equipped with a defibrillator in the event of an emergency, a point reiterated by Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer, only a few weeks ago.

“It is required at FIFA competitions to have appropriate medical staff around the pitch and a defibrillator in the stadium,” he said. “We obviously can’t guarantee that there is a defibrillator at every single stadium all around the world, but we want to make people understand that it can save lives. We want to explain to and educate the member associations that this is absolutely vital.”

Acting on Professor Dvorak’s words, Dr Jorge Vigo Ramos, the President of the Peruvian Resuscitation Council, addressed the workshop attendees and explained the emergency protocol for treating players who collapse suddenly during games and for reducing deaths in such cases.

We obviously can’t guarantee that there is a defibrillator at every single stadium all around the world, but we want to make people understand that it can save lives.
Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer

Comprising talks on deaths as a result of cardiac arrests, their possible causes, CPR techniques and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), the event sought to provide medical and administrative staff working in the game with better training on the subject, and also featured a practical CPR and AED session.

“The FPF has bought four defibrillators, two that will go with all its delegations and two installed at its facilities,” explained the national FA’s Chief Medical Officer Jorge Alva Flores, who confirmed that further courses would take place in the coming months and also stressed the importance of reacting quickly in these cases.

“The important thing is not just to save a life but to provide treatment within three minutes to prevent brain damage. For the last ten years here in Peru, we’ve been requesting that clubs implement a series of medical examinations with a view to detecting the causes that can lead to this situation.” 

Peru’s national teams already have access to latest-generation AEDs, which are also available at the FPF’s headquarters, where administrative and sports staff have been trained to use them, in the unfortunate event that such action is necessary.