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Preston paramedic student saves man’s life after cricket match collapse

Posted on - 19th October, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Health, Ingol, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, Sport, UCLan
Matt Dunn, Lancashire and Cumbria Consultant Paramedic, presenting UCLan student Ibrahim Akram with his certificate Pic: UCLan

A Preston student who saved a man’s life during a cricket game has been commended.

Ibrahim Akram, a second-year paramedic science student at the University of Central Lancashire, was in the field when the cardiac arrest took place.

The batsman collapsed on the field of play in the T20 game between White Coppice Cricket Club – where Ibrahim plays – and Ingol Cricket Club.

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Ibrahim said: “The player had just finished making two runs before suddenly collapsing to the ground. I was fielding on the boundary but didn’t see the man fall.

“While I was running in from the boundary edge, I sensed something was seriously wrong as players closer to him started to gather. As I got there, I immediately recognised the signs of him going into cardiac arrest, so I prepared to start CPR while we got another player to ring 999.”

The 21-year-old put the man, believed to be in his 60s, on to his back and tilted his head back ensuring he had a clear airway. Ibrahim established he was gasping for air and had no pulse so swiftly started CPR. In the meantime, three players ran to the clubhouse to break open the public defibrillator.

Ibrahim, from Chorley, said: “Once the defibrillator arrived, I applied the pads to his bare chest and followed instructions given by the device. It took 13 minutes of effective chest compressions and two shocks to resuscitate the patient. Thankfully he opened his eyes and was talking to me before paramedics arrived.”

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The former Runshaw College and Albany Academy pupil, who also works at 999 Ambulance Emergency Operation Centre, said: “I recently completed my first-year placement at Morecambe Ambulance Station with my paramedic mentor Lindsay Bentham and during my time at Morecambe, I hadn’t been called out to a single cardiac arrest.

“Interestingly we actually had another fixture arranged that day, but it had been cancelled with another opposition, so we arranged a last-minute friendly game with Ingol. Having to take control of the situation without a paramedic overlooking my shoulder, as well as having no kit, was overwhelming but I applied my medical experience with my skills in a time critical situation which was inevitably saved his life.”

His paramedic mentor Lindsay Bentham brought these remarkable actions to the attention of senior bosses at NWAS who visited the University’s Preston Campus recently to present Ibrahim with a certificate of commendation.

Dr Chris Grant, NWAS Executive Medical Director, Matt Dunn, Lancashire and Cumbria Consultant Paramedic, and UCLan student Ibrahim Akram Pic: UCLan

Matt Dunn, Lancashire and Cumbria Consultant Paramedic, commented: “On behalf of NWAS, thank you, you demonstrated skills and approaches which are exactly what our trust needs – calmness under pressure, willingness to be decisive and the ability to act.”

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Dr Chris Grant, NWAS Executive Medical Director, added: “Actions such as this should be seen as inspirational and potentially drivers for change, highlighting the benefits of early intervention and defibrillation in the community.”

The patient, who required cardiac surgery, has since recovered and Ibrahim and White Coppice Cricket Club is hopeful of being able to meet him soon. The club is making a continuous effort through the winter months in promoting the need of defibrillators and help inspire other village cricket clubs to buy a defibrillator.

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