If there’s something that the last 18 months has taught us all, it’s to not take anything for granted, whether it be health, wealth, friends or family.
And although many football fans across Europe have been waiting for “Euro 2020” with baited breath, the Covid-related delays and football in general took a back seat when Christian Erikson – Danish attacking midfielder – collapsed on the pitch for no apparent reason with no-one in the vicinity on Saturday evening. It was later confirmed that the obviously very fit and healthy 29-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest – clearly not something that anyone who knows him would have expected. Thankfully, at the time of writing, he appears to be on the road to recovery.
Aside from the obvious, the whole episode has demonstrated a number of things to us here at SEP:
- The importance of first aid knowledge in the workplace. Any workplace, even when you really don’t think anything bad can really happen. No-one thinks a healthy under-30 will have a cardiac arrest; no-one thinks that guy working on the drill will catch his arm; no-one thinks they’ll choke whilst eating their lunch. But it happens, and it makes a difference if someone is around who can help. At SEP, we are half-way through offering first aid training to ALL staff no matter what their role as, quite simply, it’s something we believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn.
- The importance of not sitting on the sidelines – in this case, literally. The speed of action from the Denmark captain Simon Kjaer in clearing Christian’s airway and commencing CPR until trained medics could take over appears to have been critical in saving Christian’s life. Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing.
- The importance of team work. Simon Kjaer was the first person there, administering emergency CPR. Professional on-pitch medics then took over, and they had to use a defibrillator (incidentally, a defibrillator was on 13th June vandalised at Buxted FC’s ground in Sussex – why would anyone do such a thing?) before Christian was stretchered off to a waiting ambulance and a team at the hospital. A break in any link could have resulted in a very different outcome.
- The importance of supporting your colleagues. It was most noticeable that after helping in the first place, Simon Kjaer then took the lead in forming a protective ring around his team-mate, to allow him and the medics working on him as much privacy as could be mustered in the circumstances. Kasper Schmeichel, the team’s goalkeeper, then took the lead in updating and comforting Christian’s wife. Everyone needs help from time to time; it’s not why most people do it, but the giver may one day need to receive.
- Adversaries in some circumstances are not always so. Obviously, up until it became evident there was a problem, the Finland team and fans wanted nothing more than to beat Denmark, quite possibly ‘at any cost’. However, within seconds, the Finnish fans were chanting Christian’s name and being responded to by the Danes. Of course everyone wants to win ‘their’ fight, whatever it may be, but most only want to do so fairly and without harm. Yes, there are exceptions, but thankfully few and far between.
What’s our point in writing this? What do we hope to gain? Nothing really; just a reminder to always be mindful of those around you, and if/when someone needs help to ‘be there’.