When prevention hits the target. Paolo Battaglino, tells us about his commitment to disseminate use of the defibrillator

It takes only a few minutes to work a miracle and save a human life. If you have been trained properly and you have a defibrillator to hand, you can prevent a life from being ruined forever. 

This is what could have happened, but did not, last October in Empoli during the under-17 soccer championship: "After a head collision, one of our boys fell to the ground, suffered convulsions and lost consciousness. Fortunately, the massage therapist immediately took action applying what he had learned during the first aid courses and, with the help of the defibrillator, revived the young man who then, thanks to the rapid intervention of the 118 helicopter, was transported to the Careggi Hospital of Florence". 

Dr Paolo Battaglino, head of the medical staff of the Torino FC youth teams, reconstructs those moments for us and now gladly tells the story with a happy ending: "Our masseur Gianluca Beccia was extremely fast to apply the stickers, doing on the field what we teach in our courses, and after a night under observation in the hospital, the young man returned home to his family. After a couple of weeks, he resumed regular training and also regained a position as first choice player of the team!", says Battaglino.

In cases like this, there are two gestures that make the difference: calling 118 and starting a "simple machine" which, with only two buttons, can "lengthen what is defined as the survival chain - continues Battaglino. In the case of a cardiac arrest, having people on the spot who can perform first aid interventions with a defibrillator so as to gain time to take the person to the hospital means greatly increasing his/her chances of survival. During the first ten minutes of the event irreparable damage is triggered: it is clear that being able to intervene and put the heart back into operation with an electric discharge, which is certainly more effective than cardiac massage, makes the difference for completely restoring a person's life". 

In this sense another fundamental factor enters the picture: training. For which there is a constant commitment by the medical staff of the Turin team. "For the last three years - remembers Battaglino - we have been carrying out an annual refresh of the Blsd course, at the end of which we issue a licence that is valid for two years and enables the use of the defibrillator. About forty people, including technicians and healthcare staff, were trained during the last year. 

Even if we are talking about simple manoeuvres, they still need specific training to be ready and operational in case of need”. Not only that, "we equip all teams with defibrillators, both the matches and the training sessions are covered and there is great commitment and attention - continues the head of the Turin FC youth medical team.

For this reason I would like to thank the Torino Football Club which allows us to deliver the courses, the IRC Piemonte which provides great support and the great fan Luca Verra of Sidea Service for his support to our project".