Offbeat July 27, 2011

Defibrillator to the rescue

What’s the best insurance against a medical emergency on the field

What’s the best insurance against a medical emergency on the field? How about a playing XI made up of doctors? And it's even better if one of them happens to have a defibrillator handy. Harry Parkin, a businessman, suffered a heart attack and slumped to the ground unconscious a few overs into a game between local doctors and a football team in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, England. According to, his team-mate Dr Richard Mejzner rushed to fetch a defibrillator from his car and revived Parkin, comforting him for 15 minutes until an air ambulance arrived.

Dr Mejzner’s timely intervention earned him praise from the local cricket club secretary Kevin Curran, not least because Parkin happens to be a big contributor to the club. "He is a well-known member of the community who does an awful lot for the club and everyone was completely shocked when this happened,” Curran said of Parkin. “He was nowhere near the ball when he collapsed. It was extremely fortunate there were a number of doctors around and one had this piece of equipment in his car – he may well have saved his life."

The match was abandoned and the incident has inspired the club to invest in a defibrillator. "We have all the basic medical equipment but this incident has highlighted just how important defibrillators are," Curran said.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo