By Damian Dolan
London GAA says it reacted immediately to change its safety procedures for players at McGovern Park in Ruislip following the collapse of London and Kilburn Gaels hurler Brian Regan.
It says it took delivery of two new defibrillators last week and they were in place at the ground for all of last weekend’s GAA matches.
They were bought on Sunday as soon as possible after Saturday’s collapse and arrived on Thursday.
The original one used on the collapsed player – housed in the clubhouse bar – is with London Ambulance Service for tests following suggestions it failed to work.
Its replacement is located behind the ground floor bar in the clubhouse and the newly acquired second one is kept in the medical room in the stand.
The medical room has also been fully kitted out with supplies and equipment.
The London GAA management committee met on 2 October) three days after Brian’s collapse to discuss the immediate response and any lessons learned from the incident. It says it plans to further improve its response.
Brian collapsed just before half-time during Kilburn’s senior hurling championship fixture with Robert Emmetts on 29 September.
CPR was used by fast-responding nurses, who were in the stand to watch the game, before ambulances and paramedics arrived.
One of the nurses who treated Brian on the pitch confirmed to London county board secretary Mark Gottsche that the defibrillator used on Brian went through the start-up procedure but did not deliver the required shock.
A representative of London Ambulance visited Ruislip last Thursday but was unable to test the defibrillator as it was not compatible with the soft- ware on her laptop.
The defibrillator was taken away by London Ambulance for testing.
“From speaking with her [the London Ambulance representative] there could be any number of reasons why it didn’t [deliver a shock],” Gottsche told the Irish World.
“Why it didn’t, it’s not known. We don’t know if it’s because it detected a heartbeat or there was a fault. And until we get the download from the defibrillator with London Ambulance we won’t know.
“It could be that even though it went through the process when it came to delivering the shock, that the defibrillator did detect a pulse and the device opted not to deliver it [a shock] when it detected a heartbeat.”
Gottsche confirmed that the defibrillator had been checked. The defibrillator had a self-testing function, which was checked regularly, and the pads were in date.
London GAA is now accredited by the London Ambulance Service, which includes support with the defibrillator and access to its monthly, online support.