Rescuer Safety

It is essential that the members of the medical team ensure that it is safe to approach an ill or injured athlete. The SAFE approach is as follows:

  • Shout for help
  • Assess the scene
  • Free from danger
  • Evaluate the player

When entering the field of play ensure your medical team know you are attending to a player and ensure that the officials are made aware. Is it safe, has play moved away or has the game stopped? It is important to understand that safety is dynamic in time and place and not confined to a single assessment at the beginning of an incident.

When attending to injured players on the pitch it is vital that correct clothing is worn for safety and ease of identification. Wearing a brightly coloured bib may assist in the officials being aware you are on the pitch. Wearing clinical gloves on both hands prior to the incident happening will save time in preparation when needing to attend to a player but also ensure protection of yourself especially when dealing with bodily fluids e.g. blood.

When considering CPR, particularly mouth to mouth, there are concerns that there is a risk of infection.

The best way to prevent the risk of any infection is to use a face shield or ideally a pocket mask. The added advantage of a pocket mask is that most of them have a nipple to which you can attached oxygen, so increasing the amount of oxygen being delivered to the casualty from the 16% contained in expired air.


Expired air ventilation using a pocket mask with oxygen attached.