A DOCTOR has spoken out about how he saved a football fan who collapsed during a match on Sunday.

Dr Tom Prichard who works at North Tees Hospital rushed to the aid of another Newcastle fan who was having a cardiac arrest.

He said: "I was sat at the Gallowgate end and in the East stand I could see a bit of a commotion a lot of fans trying to call over paramedics for help. And then, obviously, being a doctor I thought I would keep an eye on things and watch and see if I was needed at all. Then I decided to go on over and give a bit of support or advice and see what's going on.

"It turned out the man was in cardiac arrest, someone had started CPR already which was fantastic and had put the defibrillator pads on which, essentially, I think is what saved this man's life.

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"He was in cardiac arrest I took over the situation, he had CPR, he then had a shock from the defibrillator, carried on CPR he had another shock, then my friend Matty, who is another doctor who I sit next to, he saw what was going on as well, and he came over to help. Then before I knew it the official crowd doctor, Joe, an intensive care doctor - he got involved, the club doctor came over and there was a cardiologist in the crowd as well, who offered support.

"It all happened very quickly and we were able to get him back around. At the point he was taken off to a medical room and then the RVI."

A senior figure at Newcastle United Football Club said the elderly fan was 'doing well'.

Dr Prichard said: "Thoughts and prayers are with his and his family right now."

Dr Prichard has had a Newcastle season ticket for the last 14 seasons.

He added: "Nothing like this has ever happened before.

"I just had to jump over a barrier and run down the front concourse to get to about a few hundred yards away.

"As soon as I saw him there, there was no going back. You've got a duty of care as a doctor to help people in emergency situations and there was no way I was going to stand down. I had tunnel vision and helped the man in front of me."

The football match was stopped during the incident and play paused.

Dr Prichard said: "I had no idea that it had stopped, I had my back to the pitch and when I got back to my seat, when all things were over I was a bit confused at how it was still the first half because I'd be so long. It turned out all the players had gone down the tunnel and the referee had stopped the game. So I was a bit confused by that.

Dr Prichard said: "What I want to say is that I could not have done this alone. St John's [Ambulance] are the real heroes here in getting there in time and getting those [defibrillator] pads on the man. I want to raise public awareness of early CPR and early defibrillation saves lives. Obviously Christian Eriksen at the Euros he had early CPR, early defibrillation and that's what saved him.

"I want to try and get the public to engage with the British Heart Foundation, St John's and to go on a course and I know a lot of MPs are trying to get defibrillators in all public places. I think there should be a real public push for that and if we can get anything out of this it's that the public can learn the simple skills of CPR."

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