Wales

Wales football team fund defibrillators for six clubs

Wales player Harry Wilson Image copyright FAW
Image caption Wales player Harry Wilson helped launch the scheme at the Wales team's open training session in Wrexham

Defibrillators have been installed at six football clubs in Wales, with plans to fund others in a bid to minimise deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.

The first six have been funded by Wales football players who donated their match fees for their friendly against Mexico in Los Angeles on 29 May.

Ground staff will be trained to use the devices under the scheme, which aims to have them at all clubs in the country.

Llangollen Football Club was the first to receive its defibrillator on Monday.

Image copyright FAW
Image caption Wales captain Ashley Williams and Welsh Hearts director Sharon Owen handed over the defibrillators

A defibrillator is an automatic device that can be used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest.

Performing CPR and using a defibrillator until an ambulance arrives, can help double a victim's chance of survival.

The partnership between the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and heart charity Welsh Hearts has found few of the hundreds of football grounds across Wales had one.

Its scheme aims to change that by fundraising to ensure every player and spectator at every club in Wales has access to one.

Image copyright FAW
Image caption Research shows 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise

The FAW's medical services manager and lead physiotherapist, Sean Connelly, said: "With this partnership we will work together to fundraise to aid Welsh Hearts with the amazing work they do for heart health in Wales.

"Together we hope that this equipment will minimise the terrible instances from sudden cardiac arrests that have occurred in football grounds across Wales."

Welsh Hearts director Sharon Owen said: "We believe the impact on lives will be far-reaching, as no one should die in Wales due to a lack of a public access defibrillator in the event of an emergency.

"They should be available everywhere. I am excited to work with the FAW as they are at the heart of communities in Wales."

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