Are Irish Gaelic athletic association clubs prepared to use an AED following a sudden cardiac arrest? A cross-sectional survey

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Physician and Sportsmedicine





First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID



Taylor and Francis


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute




O’Connor, S., Whyte, E., & Fortington, L. (2020). Are Irish Gaelic athletic association clubs prepared to use an AED following a sudden cardiac arrest? A cross-sectional survey. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 48(3), 320-326. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913847.2019.1704666


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Objectives: To identify the availability and accessibility of AEDs in Irish GAA clubs and the knowledge, willingness, and confidence of club members to use AEDs in a medical emergency. Methods: A self-report survey was completed anonymously by GAA club members (n = 267). The survey captured demographic information, previous formal AED training, awareness of AED access in their local GAA club and knowledge, confidence, and willingness to use an AED in a medical emergency and awareness of a written club emergency action plan (EAP). Descriptive statistics were used to examine survey responses and independent samples t-tests to compare differences in outcome scores between those who have or have not completed formal AED training and those that have or have not studied toward or worked in a health-care provision role. Results: Three in every five GAA club members reported that their club owned an AED and almost half of all respondents had access to a club AED in the event of a medical emergency in their club. Formal training was noted by 53.2% of respondents; this group demonstrated significantly better knowledge, confidence, and willingness (p < 0.0001) than those without. Few (7%) respondents knew where the club EAP was or how to access it. Conclusion: To ensure the chain of survival works effectively it is essential that an AED is available, is accessible, and that club members know its location, know when to use it, and are willing and confident to use it. GAA clubs should design an individual emergency action plan and disseminate it widely among club members. Formal AED training should be encouraged among club members and at least one trained member should be present during all club activities.



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