Footballer Fabrice Muamba launches defibrillator campaign

Fabrice Muamba and Sam Wilcox, a community resuscitation trainer Fabrice Muamba wants 1,000 extra defibrillators to be in London's shops and gyms

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Former Premier League footballer who had a cardiac arrest on the pitch has launched a campaign to get more life-saving equipment into public places.

Fabrice Muamba, then a Bolton Wanderers midfielder, collapsed while playing an FA cup tie in March 2012.

His heart was restarted with a defibrillator.

Muamba has joined London Ambulance Service (LAS) to get 1,000 of the machines into shops, businesses and gyms.

The campaign is being run with Marks and Spencer, which is fitting defibrillators in its 86 London stores.

LAS chairman, Richard Hunt, said: "If you have a cardiac arrest, your heart stops beating and you are clinically dead.

"Every second counts, which is why we want more defibrillators in public places to help us save more lives in London."

Fabrice Muamba receives CPR treatment Medical staff shocked Muamba several times with a defibrillator after he collapsed on the pitch

About 28% of people survive a cardiac arrest in a public place, but where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it the chance of survival can increase to 80%.

What is a defibrillator?

  • A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest
  • The machines can also be called AEDs (automated external defibrillators)
  • When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%.

Source: British Heart Foundation

Muamba has been involved in a number of campaigns to get more defibrillators into public places since his collapse.

He said: "If it wasn't for a defibrillator I wouldn't be here today.

"I was lucky. I had my cardiac arrest in the right place with the best medics around to help me.

"I want everyone who goes into cardiac arrest to have the same chance as me and that's why I'm supporting the London Ambulance Service campaign to get more defibrillators in public places."

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