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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.