'They're so vital': Campaigners call for defibrillator law change in wake of Christian Eriksen collapse

Campaigners have joined forces to try to get defibrillators put in all gyms and amateur sporting venues following the collapse of Denmark star Christian Eriksen.

The 29-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland on Saturday.

The Inter Milan midfielder had to be resuscitated on the pitch, but is thankfully now recovering in hospital.

On Tuesday, he posted a picture on social media with a thumbs up from his hospital bed and told fans that he was feeling "fine under the circumstances".

Care worker Edward Knight was one of the millions of people watching the horror unfold on TV, and is now calling for a change in the law that would make it compulsory for all sports venues to have defibrillators on site.

"I think it's so important that we preserve life as much as possible," he told ITV News Anglia.

"CPR is good, but with the defibs, you've got an even higher percentage of staying alive."

Another person calling for the same change in the law is Charlie Edinburgh.

His dad, the former Northampton Town manager Justin Edinburgh, died at the age of 49 in 2019 after suffering a cardiac arrest while at the gym.

Former Northampton Town boss Justin Edinburgh. Credit: PA

"With a defib, you get it on the person as soon as possible, Christian is proof of that, there's a chance of survival," Charlie said.

"In my dad's case, there wasn't a defibrillator on site where he was training. He was a fit 49-year-old man and Christian's a fit 29-year-old, so it can happen to absolutely anybody."

Charlie has since set up the JE3 Foundation in his dad's honour, and is now campaigning for 'Justin's Law' to come info force.

The foundation has also donated defibrillators to a number of sports clubs, but Charlie says more needs to be done.

  • Watch an extended interview with Charlie Edinburgh

"These pieces of equipment, they're so, so vital. We've obviously got the campaign for a law change that we want to get called 'Justin's Law' in dad's name, to make sure that all of these types of facilities in the UK are equipped with a defibrillator.

"Whether you're playing tennis, cricket, whatever your sport, you need to be safe and a defibrillator is that safety blanket should somebody need it."

A defibrillator is a device that dives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

The devices could be the difference between life and death, but according to a recent survey carried out by the British Heart Foundation, three quarters of people wouldn't feel confident enough to use one in an emergency situation.

  • Watch a demonstration by Resuscitation Officer Annemarie Harris

"They're very simple to use. They're automated, so they will literally tell you everything in simple instructions," Royal Papworth Resuscitation Officer Annemarie Harris said.

"It's really important to get these defibrillators out there and easily accessible to the public in as many locations as possible."

What to do if someone is having a cardiac arrest

A defibrillator. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • Call 999

  • Start CPR

  • Ask someone to bring a defibrillator if there’s one nearby

  • Turn on the defibrillator and follow its instructions