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CPR is performed on a dummy

We'll take you through: 

  • planning for medical emergencies 
  • what to do with a suspected concussion 
  • what could cause a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) 
  • using an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • first aid in football courses offered by The FA. 

Creating a Medical Emergency Action Plan (MEAP) is an important part of the risk assessment process. Every club has different facilities and requirements, so the MEAP needs to be tailored specifically to the site being used. You can find information on the detail required in a MEAP below.  

A graphic showing the details needed in a medical emergency action plan: name and address; key people; equipment; access; other information such as directions to nearest hospital and how long to get there.

To keep everyone safe, find out where your EAP is and what it says. This is especially important if you're at a place you don't know, such as an away match.  

A venue may actually have multiple EAPS to help deal with different situations, such as actions in the presence of a fire, etc. This module concentrates on the medical/first aid EAP at the club, which could also vary for different incidents or for different sessions such as training and matches. These documents must be accessible at all times and, ideally, on view. 


Remember, good EAPs are updated regularly, so make a habit of reviewing yours.

Useful links

If you still need to create a MEAP, you can access a template in the resources section of the medical emergency action plan module. 

Within this module, you can find medical templates in the resource section on the MEAP module: 

  • Medical emergency action plan template. 
  • Medical consent form template.
  • Injury report form template. 

To support players with medical conditions and injuries, go to 5.10 Medical FAQs, which is located under the useful resources in this link. 


Concussion is an injury to the brain resulting in a disturbance of brain function. It affects the way a person thinks, feels, and remembers things. There are many symptoms of concussion, with common ones including headaches, dizziness, memory disturbance, or balance problems. 

Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head but can also occur when a blow to another part of the body results in rapid movement of the head (e.g. whiplash type injuries). 

To find out more about concussion, check out the concussion guidelines module available from England Football Learning. The FA also have online content to help you learn more about concussion. Click on the following links to learn more about: 

Remember - if in doubt, sit them out 


Useful links

Further information and The FA’s free concussion e-learning module

Research into the consequences of heading is ongoing. Current heading guidelines are designed to mitigate potential risks.   

Click here to find out more about heading guidance.  

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is usually caused by an underlying heart condition. It can happen to anyone of any age at any level of football. Sadly, there have been a number of fatal cases in football relating to players, teams, and match officials. 

Having awareness and understanding of how to respond to this medical emergency can help to save lives.  

Dealing with an SCA has a huge impact on all those involved - the player, first aiders, their teammates, family, spectators, opposition teams, match officials, staff, and volunteers.  
SCA incidents need to be handled sensitively. Your county FA can help you to support all those who experience or witness SCA. 

Let’s watch Kye’s story and hear about the impact of SCA and how access to an AED saved his life.  

Select play to view the video below.  

Kye's story

Kye has taken advice from medical staff regarding his particular circumstance, Kye has made the decision to no longer play football. With the support of his county FA, he has decided to consider being involved in coaching, by completing his online introduction to coaching football qualification. 

Returning to sport or activity following an SCA requires a player to discuss their individual circumstances with their cardiologist and extended medical care team. Each situation is unique, and the final decision is ultimately the player's taking everything into consideration. 

Any individual, returning to any level of physical activity in similar circumstances, would need to discuss this at length with their own cardiologist and wider medical team, inclusive of club or organisational medical staff and have a return to participation (emergency action) plan in place. 


AEDs are also known as defibs. Defibs are electronic devices that help and support an individual in cardiac arrest.  

Some, but not all, community spaces where football is played have defibrillators. Some clubs are required to have a defib as part of their regulations, and other clubs choose to have a portable defibrillator with them for training and matches and ensure their teams have people who are trained and confident to use a defibrillator. You should know the location of your nearest AED. 

There may be media interest in an SCA or other catastrophic incidents in football. In this event, the wishes of the family and the club should be considered. Advice and support can be sought from the League or The County FA.  

Use this form to report a catastrophic incident in football. 


First aid courses in football

Here's more information on courses offered by The FA on first aid and medical emergencies in football. 

A graphic listing The FA's first aid and medical courses.

All of these courses can be found here.