Glenn Hoddle, cardiac arrests and how to use a defibrillator to save a life

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When Glenn Hoddle collapsed from an apparent cardiac arrest on Saturday, it appears his life was saved by a quick thinking sound engineer in the television studio who knew how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator, however if you were faced with the same situation would you know what to do?

In this article we hope to explain the differences between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack, why you should start CPR and use a defibrillator, what the chain of survival is, what an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is and how to use one.

Glenn Hoddle cardiac arrest defibrillator
Glenn Hoddle

Glenn Hoddle previously played as a midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur, AS Monaco, Chelsea and Swindon Town and at international level for England. He then went on to a mange several top level clubs culminating in managing the English team to the second round of the 1998 World Cup. More recently he has been working as a commentator for TV football shows, where he was on Saturday when he became ill.

From media reports, it appears he collapsed and was unresponsive suggesting he may have had a cardiac arrest.

What is the difference between cardiac arrest and a heart attack?

A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked. This means that the heart muscle cannot get the oxygen it needs to work as the blood supply is either cut off or limited by a blockage, if nothing is done about this the heart will die as it will not get enough oxygen to survive.

A cardiac arrest is when a heart stops beating and therefore does not pump blood around the body, this also means the person will stop breathing normally. Many cardiac arrests happen as a direct result of a heart attack because the heart may go into a dangerous rhythm.

Therefore if someone suddenly collapses and stops breathing normally, the Resuscitation Council advises that you treat this as a cardiac arrest, call 999, get a defibrillator and start CPR.

Why use a defibrillator and start CPR?

Simple, to save the person’s life!

Statistics show that if a bystander immediately starts CPR when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival can double or quadruple.

Early access to a defibrillator and defibrillation within 3-5 minutes of someone collapsing can lead to survival rates of up to 50-70%.

Each minute of delay getting the defibrillator on the person and a shock being delivered can reduce their chance of survival by 10%, therefore you can see that quick action is vital.


Chain of Survival how to survive a cardiac arrest
Chain of Survival


What is a defibrillator?

HeartSine 500P Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Vivomed
HeartSine 500P Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable machine designed to be used by untrained people to deliver an electric shock to a persons heart to bring it back into a normal rhythm.

The important thing is that Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are specifically designed to be used by anyone without any training. The moment you turn one on, it will start to tell you what to do and how to do it by voice commands and visual graphics. The Resuscitation Council (UK)’s advice is that the use of AEDs should NOT be restricted to trained personnel.

How to perform CPR and use a defibrillator

What to do if you see someone collapse:

  1. Check for danger – you don’t want to become a casualty yourself!
  2. Shake and shout – see if you can get a response from them by shaking the person and shouting in their ear.
  3. Shout for help, someone nearby may be able to help you.
  4. Check to see if they are breathing normally – place your ear to their mouth and look down the line of their chest to look, listen and feel for breathing for no longer than 10 seconds. If you’re not sure if their breathing is normal, act as if it’s not normal.
  5. Call 999 and ask someone to get a defibrillator
  6. Give 30 chest compressions until the defibrillator arrives.
  7. Give 2 rescue breaths
  8. As soon as the defibrillator arrives, turn it on and follow the instructions.




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