Tuesday 15 October 2019

GAA club to test if defibrillator was working properly after hurling captain collapsed on pitch

Lucky escape: London hurler Brian Regan. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Lucky escape: London hurler Brian Regan. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

London GAA chiefs are to launch an investigation to establish whether a defibrillator was working correctly when the city's hurling captain Brian Regan collapsed.

The Gort, Co Galway, native fell seriously ill while in action for his club, Kilburn Gaels, in the London Senior Hurling Championship on Sunday.

He was treated by nurses who were attending the game at McGovern Park in Ruislip, as well as a fellow player, before an ambulance arrived.

Responding to reports that the defibrillator wasn't working properly, London GAA secretary Mark Gottsche insisted that no determination could be made until the device was tested later this week.

"To be honest, I'm not 100pc sure," said Mr Gottsche, who was serving as an umpire at the game. I'm meeting London Ambulance on Thursday, they are going to come out and take a reading on the defibrillator we have here.

"My understanding is the defibrillator will only work if it is absolutely 100pc needed, so the sensors in it could have told it not to go.

"But it's only speculation at the minute and until we get the reading from the defibrillator from London Ambulance we actually don't know if there was an issue or not."

Mr Gottsche said that Mr Regan was "sore but in good spirits" and he paid tribute to people at the match who helped save Mr Regan's life.

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"We were lucky a couple of nurses on Saturday were there and they have the expertise and the training.

"And Stephen Lambert, who was playing with Brian at the time, I believe had just completed a first-aid course at work and he was trained in CPR. I think having the people with the knowledge and expertise on site is just as valuable as having the equipment."

Mr Regan's family declined to comment at this point, and Mr Gottsche said London GAA would look at protocols around similar issues. "With everything and any incident, no matter what happens, if you don't look at how you can improve your action plans then you are a bit foolish.

"We met at management last night, we discussed it and how we can improve things in Ruislip - and not just Ruislip, at other grounds around London. I know a couple of clubs have their own defibrillators that they bring with them but I wouldn't say all of them do. We'll look at it as an overall structure and see what improvements can be made."

The GAA launched its Defibrillator Scheme in 2005, in which it provided units to its clubs on a subsidised basis.

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