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Cardiovascular safety at mass gatherings

Comment by Erik Ekker Solberg, EACPR Sports Cardiology Section

Consensus document regarding cardiovascular safety at sports arenas: Position stand from the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), section of Sports Cardiology.
Mats Borjesson; Luis Serratosa; Francois Carre; Domenico Corrado; Jonathan Drezner; Dorian L. Dugmore; Hein H. Heidbuchel; Klaus-Peter Mellwig; Nicole M. Panhuyzen-Goedkoop; Michael Papadakis; Hanne Rasmusen; Sanjay Sharma; Erik E. Solberg; Frank van Buuren; Antonio Pelliccia;
Eur Heart J (2011) doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr178 

Football arenas are one of the most frequently visited mass gatherings in our time. It is known that spectators at football arenas have increased cardiac risk due to emotional excitement during the games.
This position paper from the Sport Cardiology Section of the EACPR is a follow-up of the mapping of the cardiovascular preparedness at European football arenas (1) and sets standards for arena cardiovascular care related to cardiac events both in spectators and athletes.

To ensure optimal implementation of the chain of survival, the paper emphasises the need for a written detailed medical action plan and availability of automated external defibrillators. Also, estimate numbers of necessary health personnel are given. In addition to provide an important community medicine contribution to decrease sudden cardiac death in the society, the paper should be of special interest for sports event and other mass gathering organisers across Europe, especially to assist in the planning of the mass gatherings.

(1) Time for action regarding cardiovascular emergency care at sports arenas: a lesson from the arena study
Borjesson M, Dugmore D, Mellwig KP, van Buuren F, Serratosa L, Solberg EE, Pelliccia A.
Eur Heart J (2010) 31 (12): 1438-1441.