Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba is stretchered off the field in a serious condition.
Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba is stretchered off the field in a serious condition.

Speedy medics lauded in Muamba case

By Matt Lawton Time of article published Mar 19, 2012

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The high level of emergency medical care Fabrice Muamba received at White Hart Lane was the result of measures the Premier League put in place after Petr Cech suffered his serious head injury in 2006.

On Sunday the medical teams from both Tottenham and Bolton received praise for the treatment they administered during those shocking scenes, as did the match officials.

Referee Howard Webb was relieved of his fourth official duties at Wolves on Sunday. As senior refereeing official Dermot Gallagher said, it helped enormously that Webb and fourth official Chris Foy are police officers.

But the level of care Muamba received from medical staff owed much to the way the Premier League reacted to the Cech incident at Reading.

Jose Mourinho, then the Chelsea manager, criticised the Berkshire ambulance service by complaining of the delays in taking Cech to hospital when he had suffered a fractured skull.

“There are some things that leave me in a very emotional situation,” said Mourinho. “My goalkeeper was waiting for an ambulance for 30 minutes. This is something English football has to think about. This is much more important than football.”

Chelsea made an official complaint that led to a Premier League and FA review. As a result the following measures were introduced:

* An ambulance must be located at the ground for exclusive use of players.

* Each club must have their doctor at Premier League games.

* The doctor must be seated on the trainers’ bench.

* All doctors and physiotherapists must complete AREA (Advanced Resuscitation and Emergency Aid) training course.

* At least two paramedics must be available pitchside to deal with on-field emergencies.

* The home club must provide the away club with a medical information sheet containing key contact numbers and the location of nearest hospital.

* Home club must have available mandatory medical equipment as prescribed by Premier League.

* Annual medical examinations must be carried out on all players.

The Premier League declined the opportunity to comment on Sunday, rightly leaving it to officials at Bolton to provide updates on their ex-England Under 21 midfielder’s situation.

But after the incident Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: “We would like to praise the players, match officials, staff and medical teams of both clubs for their swift actions in attending to Fabrice.” – Daily Mail

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