Does My Sports Club Need a Defibrillator (AED)?

According to studies reviewed by the Massachusetts General Hospital, sudden cardiac death is the most common medical cause of death in athletes, with an incidence of around 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 80,000 athletes per year.

With high profile athletes such as Fabrice Muamba suffering from SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) during matches, those who compete or partake in sport at any level are often aware of the risks of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can be a vital, lifesaving tool that any sports club can have as part of their first aid requirement.

Do Sports Venues and Clubs Have Defibrillators (AED)?

Currently, access to Automated External Defibrillators depends on the training place of the sports club, or the venue that provides it. Access to lifesaving equipment, like AEDs, greatly varies, from grassroots level to professional teams.

Access To AEDs at Football Groups

Any football tournament that FIFA runs requires all players to undergo testing for cardiovascular abnormalities, as well as recommending that everyone involved, such as players, referees and staff at stadiums and training grounds, are trained in CPR and AED usage.

Access To AEDs at Golf Courses

At spaces such as golf courses, where the average length of fairways and greens are often spread across several acres, access to AEDs at clubhouses and convenient points across the course is suggested as a way to ensure the survival of someone suffering from SCA who might be in a more remote location.

Access To AEDs at Gyms

Gyms across the UK regularly have many people who take part in strenuous exercise. For a gym, owning a defibrillator means that someone suffering from SCA during strength or cardio training has a greater chance of survival.

Does My Sports Venue Need a Defibrillator (AED)?

Sports venues and clubs are at higher risk of someone suffering from a cardiac arrest due to the nature of activity carried out, which is often more strenuous on the body. During your risk assessment and first aid assessments, if you identify a need for an AED, then you may want to provide one.

If you identify a need for a piece of first aid equipment for your employees, then you will need to provide one. However, the requirement for non-employees is different.

The Health and Safety Executive states on their website:

The regulations do not place a legal duty on employers to make first-aid provision for non-employees such as the public or children in schools. However, HSE strongly recommends that non-employees are included in an assessment of first aid needs and that provision is made for them.”.

Are Defibrillators Required for Sports Venues or Clubs?

There are currently no laws governing AED provision at sports venues or by clubs. Individual federations, such as the Premier League, PGA (Professional Golf Association) or similar, may require the availability of an AED at competitions or at training grounds.

You should consult with your federation to assess the requirement for your group. However, the suggestion is to always have a defibrillator to hand when partaking in any kind of sport, due to the increased stress sport puts on the heart.

AED Requirements for parkrun

Parkruns across the UK are required to have direct access to a defibrillator in order to be able to continue with any event. If the defibrillator is not working or cannot be found, then the parkrun must be cancelled.

Where Are Defibrillators Located at Sports Venues?

For most sports venues, a defibrillator should be within a 2-minute radius of any part of the venue, or in a protective bag so that it can be left outside during matches, or as part of the venue provision.

Some sports grounds may have an externally mounted defibrillator in a special cabinet, which should be illuminated to make it visible at any time of day. This means anyone using the sports area can have access to an AED.

Where a group does not own the venue, such as local community recreation ground, and where a defibrillator has not been provided, then the group should seek to have a transportable defibrillator that can be brought to and from the venue.

Defibrillator Funding for Sports Groups and Venues

Largely, funding operations are in place for many grassroots organisations and venues. For example the Premier League is funding a defibrillator for every grassroots group in the UK, and the Welsh Rugby Union provided a defibrillator to every rugby club in Wales.

For defibrillator grants, funding and more, you should be able to speak to your federation provider, or the governing body of your sport, who will either have a fund, or can point to opportunities for funding.

Sport Clubs AEDs FAQs

Do Football Stadiums Have Defibrillators?

Thanks to the Premier League’s defibrillator fund, all football clubs are being offered the opportunity to have a defibrillator. This roll out is expected to be done in phases from the 2021/22 season.

Is It a Legal Requirement to Have an AED in Gyms?

No, it is not a legal requirement to have an AED in a gym, however it is strongly recommended due to the strenuous activity that takes place at gyms.

Speak to Aero Healthcare for your Defibrillator Needs

We are the UK Master Distributor for HeartSine Technologies Samaritan Defibrillators, the only defibrillators manufactured in the United Kingdom. We also provide the official parkrun starter kit and can assist with sports-ready AEDs.

Speak to us today, and we can advise on the best AED for your sports group.