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GPs 'save life' of collapsed teammate

A group of GPs were on hand to save the life of a teammate who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing football on Friday night.

Dr Mehrban Ghani, one of the three GPs present and medical director for Barnsley CCG, noticed one of the players - Mr Tair Bashir, an IT consultant and father of two – was suffering chest pains and wasn’t breathing. The GPs present immediately began CPR at pitch in Attercliffe, Sheffield.

Colleagues of the GPs said that their rapid action ‘more than likely’ saved Mr Bashir’s life. 

The GPs worked with another doctor from Rotherham A&E for around 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived. They subsequently assisted the paramedics, who gave Mr Bashir two shocks with a defibrillator and intravenous adrenaline before getting an output.

Mr Bashir, who has a young son and daughter, was taken to Northern General A&E where a myocardial infarction was diagnosed. He underwent an emergency percutaneous coronary intervention and had a stent inserted. He is now recovering well in hospital.

Speaking to Pulse, Dr Ghani highlighted that all three GPs and Mr Bashir himself are of Pakistani descent, and that cardiac problems are a particularly common amongst this group.

He told Pulse: ‘Certain Asian groups are twice as likely to suffer heart disease and die of heart disease compared to the rest of the population, and they also present in an atypical way.’

‘Often they aren’t started on lipid lowering therapies. So we thought something positive would be, perhaps to encourage practitioners to look at this group which is potentially at risk and also within the general population.

He continued: ‘We’re also trying to highlight the fact that patients should go for health checks, which for example Tahir would have been eligible for at the age of 40, he’s 42 now.

Mr Bashir told Pulse: ‘I was fortuitous to have four doctors onsite to assist me. They were instrumental in, not only keeping me alive, but also preventing brain injury.’

Fellow teammate Dr Ripon Ahmed, a GP who had been called away on a separate emergency that night, told Pulse his friends played a crucial part in guaranteeing Mr Bashir a good recovery.

He said: ‘They were like “oh it’s something we have to do, and we’re trained to deal with these sorts of things”, but as a GP it’s very rare that we have to use these skills.’

‘Obviously we have to update them every year, but most GPs won’t ever come across a need to use basic life support skills. So the fact that they were there, and able to put those skills to use, has more than likely saved Tair’s life, and made a significant difference.

Dr Ahmed added: ‘Perhaps, if any GPs do regularly frequent sporting venues maybe they could assist them in providing access to an automated defibrillator, or raising awareness of it.’

‘That would be a really good outcome, because what really saved Tair’s life was being able to shock him back into a regular output, and the CPR bought him time.’

A similar incident occurred a few months ago in Sheffield where a student collapsed and was resuscitated by an opposing team of medical students, and in 2012 footballer Fabrice Muamba had a heart attack during an FA cup match.

The charity Hearts and Goals was setup after Muamba’s collapse, to raise awareness of CPR procedures and to encourage more sports grounds to have defibrillators on hand for use in an emergency.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Vinci Ho

    Well done guys!

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  • Really pleased about a positive outcome on such a young man. I hope Mr Bashir has a speedy recovery.

    Absolutely right to highlight the increased cardiac risk in men from the Indian subcontinent. Sadly it is not unusual for me to see men as young as this have cardiac events. A lot more needs to be done to prevent these events.

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  • Logically we will never know if it was the medical effort that saved his life or if the heart would have restarted anyway.For ethical reasons no trials will ever be carried out comparing CPR vs doing nothing

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  • Mr Bashir was saved by the skill of Doctors present there.How could heart would start by itself, is helped by some technical support by the right kind of people at the right place We should be proud of our Doctors and Parameds.

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  • 8.42am comment = Was your comment absolutely necessary? The fact is CPR was carried out, and the gentleman had a good outcome.

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  • "For ethical reasons no trials will ever be carried out comparing CPR vs doing nothing" - I'm unsure why you would ever want to do this comparison.
    If you want to wait for the heart to (magically) restart all on it's own, how long do you wait? You need to ensure circulation is restarted ASAP/maintained to minimise end organ damage including, as Mr Bashir himself mentions, brain injury.
    Plenty of people die because of a lack of CRP which means that they have been 'randomised' into the no CPR group. Those that are lucky enough to be near a bystander who undertakes CPR have been 'randomised' to the treatment group. At least some of the latter group survive.
    Why would you withhold an intervention that has the potential to save a life in preference for inaction that is guaranteed to end in death or as an absolute minimum, severe disability? Yes, this is unethical.
    Anonymous @ 8:42, may I humbly suggest that you need some revision of cardiac physiology & anatomy.

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  • Congratulations and best wishes to Mr Bashir, well done to the group of medics.

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  • Well done to all concerned.

    Perhaps a good lesson here on the importance of first aid training for members of the public - no way for us to know from this story whether or not that would have been sufficient, but there are surely many cases where basic first aid that would have made a difference is not given.

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  • Well done everyone. What a great story. Best wishes to Mr Bashir for a good recovery.

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