Resuscitation on the Field of Play

Photo shows man giving CPR to another man. In the foreground is a swimming pool. The text on the graphic reads: Resuscitation on the field of play. A best practice guideline.

Resuscitation Council UK is committed to ensuring that survival rates for in and out of hospital cardiac arrest improve. That's why we've launched new guidelines to help save lives across all community and professional sporting events. 

Sudden cardiac arrest on the field-of-play is a rare but devastating event, with approx. 1 in 217,000 people per year suffering a sports-related sudden death.

Resuscitation on the Field of Play best practice guidelines aim to improve the response to a sudden cardiac arrest on the field-of-play and increase the chances of a full recovery.

The guidelines are designed for medical teams who need to respond to an athlete having a cardiac arrest during or shortly after sporting activity, across all community and professional sports - such as football, swimming and tennis. The guidelines were created in association with British Heart Foundation, Centre for Sports Cardiology, UW Medicine, The FA, St John Ambulance and Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK.

Access the Resuscitation on the Field of Play: best practice guidelines here

How you can support Resuscitation on the Field of Play

Write to your sports national governing body, asking to adopt our guidelines:

Although a rare event, a sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death among competitive athletes, and a common cause of death during exercise. Across the UK, there is no overarching guidance on resuscitation across all community and professional sporting events.

Please consider using RCUK’s template letter to write your sports national governing body. You can use this link to find them. By using our letter, you can request that they adopt the ‘Resuscitation on the Field of Play’ guidelines. This will help to give people in the community and professional field of play their best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest.

We need sporting authorities to prioritise adoption of these guidelines, so the more people who get in touch, the better. If you do use this template letter, we’d be very grateful if you could please CC’ our team into your email:

Share your story with us

If you or someone in your family is a cardiac arrest survivor, or you've responded to a cardiac arrest on the field of play we’d love to hear from you. Through the power of storytelling, we’re able to raise awareness of resuscitation and inspire more people to learn the skills they need to save a life.

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