Medics saved the life a 73-year-old football fan at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium on Saturday (21 February).
Albion chief executive Paul Barber paid tribute to the club’s safety and stewarding team, St John Ambulance and South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) medics and the club’s crowd doctor Rob Galloway.
Mr Barber said that the 73-year-old supporter suffered a cardiac arrest after complaining of chest pains at the match against Birmingham City.
Stewards and medical staff used defibrillators and carried out heart and lung resuscitation (also known as cardio-pulmonary resuscitation – or CPR) to revive the patient after his heart stopped for 15 minutes.
He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.
Mr Barber said: “There is no doubt that the actions of the club stewards, St John Ambulance and Secamb staff and our crowd doctor Rob Galloway saved the life of the gentleman in question.
“It is not the first time Rob and his team have saved the life of a supporter at the stadium.
“The professionalism of the safety and medical staff and their record of saving lives is astonishing.”
Dr Galloway said that three fans had suffered cardiac arrests at matches since the stadium opened where someone’s heart had stopped and been shocked back to life.
He said: “All three survived with a good quality of life. Normally if that had happened in the street the survival rate is just 5 per cent to 8 per cent.
“There is no other venue I know of with survival rates this good.
“The reason is the set up and not just luck. We have eight defibrillators at the stadium, a large and well-trained team from St John Ambulance and great stewards.
“So it never takes long to get to a patient when they collapse. And this is the key, the shorter the time between a heart stopping and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and using a defibrillator, the better the chances of survival.
“In addition we have Secamb (South East Coast Ambulance Service) paramedics at each game and an A&E consultant so that the ongoing care after CPR and shocking is as good as possible and so improve the chance of surviving and with a good quality of life – especially if initial measures do not work.”