Quick lifesaving skills save the life of an Edinburgh athlete at popular city sports venue

Edinburgh Leisure | Thursday 13th April 2023 8:39am

Quick lifesaving skills save the life of an Edinburgh athlete at popular city sports venue

A local man is thanking his lucky stars and staff at a popular city sports venue for saving his life when he collapsed on the running track following a training session early in March.

Keith Ridley, 69 years, from Willowbrae, and a coach with Edinburgh Athletic Club had just finished his own training session on the outdoor running track at Meadowbank Sports Centre before he was due to start training younger members of the club when he collapsed.  

Thanks to the quick action of some medical students, who were training on the track, and Martin Bews, Operations Supervisor at Meadowbank Sports Centre, who administered CPR until the ambulance arrived to take over, Mr Ridley has lived to tell the tale.  Greg Cobb, a Welcome Host at Meadowbank, who had trained as a cardiac nurse in a previous life, also gave invaluable support to Martin at the time.

Keith was taken to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, where he had two stents installed in blocked arteries and an ICD (implantable defibrillator) in his chest.

Keith Ridley said: “I count myself incredibly fortunate with the circumstances in which my heart attack happened and will be forever grateful for the quick actions of the medical students and the staff at Edinburgh Leisure’s Meadowbank Sports Centre, especially Martin and Greg, who most definitely saved my life.  Medical friends of mine have told me just how critical those first few minutes are in terms of the right care administered that can make the difference in saving a life.”

Claire Rusack, Operations Director at Edinburgh Leisure said: “We are so glad that Keith is doing well and on the road to recovery. We are so proud of all the team and for the great outcome

“Edinburgh Leisure places a huge importance on equipping our staff with the necessary skills to cope with lots of different situations.  In this instance, their first aid training and accident and emergency procedures ensured an incident well managed. You hope you’ll never have to use your first aid skills, but it just highlights how critical these skills can be in saving someone’s life.”

Keith spent a week in the hospital but recovered well and has now returned home.  On the advice of his cardiology nurse, he is undertaking light exercise including walking and hopes to return to a structured exercise programme in the near future. He is hoping that he might be eligible to be referred to Edinburgh Leisure’s Fit For Health programme to help with his rehabilitation.

Fit For Health is a 16-week physical activity referral programme delivered by Edinburgh Leisure in partnership with the Edinburgh Health & Social Care Partnership. Sessions are delivered across various Edinburgh Leisure venues. 

Edinburgh Leisure offers First Aid courses, which are accredited by Ofqual and presented in association with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK). These include First Aid at Work (Full 3 days); First Aid at Work (2 days refresher), Emergency First Aid at Work (1 day), Paediatric First Aid (2 days), and Emergency Paediatric First Aid (1 day). Edinburgh Leisure also runs first aid courses for clubs and colleges.   These are in addition to their RLSS programme, and they welcome any requests.

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