Chorley FC Supporters Trust fund lifesaving equipment

A big thank you to Danny Fishwick of Chorley FC for our most recent guest blog. Danny has attended a number of Lubas Medical courses and we felt Chorley's story of local supporters pulling together for the good of the club was too good to ignore! A great example of player safety being the number 1 priority throughout all levels of sport.


Danny explains the story in his own words. Enjoy!


I’m Danny Fishwick, the Sports Rehabilitator at Chorley Football Club. I have a degree in Sports Rehabilitation which I graduated from in 2010. Working in football I also have pitchside first aid and sports trauma management qualifications.

My role at Chorley Football Club is to lead the medical department for the first team through to the under 18s teams. I am the point of contact for all the players when it comes to injury diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation and refer them on as and when required. Throughout my training I was involved in non-league football working voluntarily with Stalybridge Celtic, Ashton United and Northwich Victoria. I was given the opportunity to go to Huddersfield Town on placement at university and luckily I ended up staying there for the best part of three years. I worked with their first team and academy as well as working with Altrincham FC in the Conference North. Before joining Chorley I spent a year in Australia working with a semi-pro team called Armadale and also with Perth Glory who are the professional soccer team in Western Australia.

Chorley play in the National League North (formerly the Conference North) and were very close to reaching the National League last year in the play-off final – we were extremely unlucky on the day losing 3-2 to Guiseley, this would have been back-to-back promotions following us winning the Northern Premier League the season before. Our manager is Matt Jansen, who played in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers. It is a sleeping giant of a club and everything is in place for us to keep building and progressing as far as humanly possible – with the main aim being the Football League.

We are lucky at Chorley as we have a good backroom team and good set of people behind the scenes. We have first aiders that would help me in a traumatic incident and stewards who are also stretcher bearers so everything is in place if traumatic injuries occur. The physios of each team are also very helpful in these situations. Traumatic injuries need to be managed efficiently and confidently – obviously with crowds of 1000-2000 every week we are being watched very closely to ensure we are following protocol fully and properly. As long as everything is done properly and the player is as comfortable as possible before the EMS arrives, we have done our job in a pre-hospital setting.

One of the courses which I really wanted to add to my toolbox was the use of Oxygen and Entonox. This is used in professional sport but not so much at semi-professional level. I wanted to get this introduced to the club, and have a few medical personnel from different clubs in our league attend so it becomes more regular at our level of football. This is life saving equipment and if one life is saved by using it over the space of 10 years then it is worth it. Due to a lot of the oxygen courses being held down south, I enquired about the possibility of hosting this at Chorley FC during the summer. This was arranged through Lubas Medical who came to our club and put on the course. We had medical staff attending from AFC Fylde, Curzon Ashton and Airbus UK just to name a few.

Being trained up is one thing, but purchasing the equipment is another at this level of football. I have been quite lucky with being supported fully when I want to introduce new ideas to the club. At this level of football however the funds aren’t there to be spent in large sums, especially in the summer / pre-season when there are no crowd incomes from games coming into the club. To purchase the oxygen I was lucky enough to have the full backing of the Chorley FC Supporters Trust, who sponsored and purchased it for the club.

Chorley Supporters Trust Board Member James Wilson, who arranged the LifeLine Pro Oxygen kit sponsorship, said:

"I help out as a steward at Chorley FC on matchdays. When the club suggested buying a Lifeline oxygen kit I immediately thought of the Trust. Safety in the football ground is of paramount importance, both on and off the pitch. The Trust are constantly working with Chorley FC to improve the matchday experience so this sponsorship deal was a natural fit for us."

I am tremendously grateful for this support and it proves that clubs at lower levels have a great camaradarie with everyone pulling together to reach the same goal. The staff, players, Trust and the fans all work together for the good of the club, we all want to be in the Football League and with this foundation the sky is the limit. This is what happens in non-league football as the money isn’t always there so everyone pulls together to run the club – which is what makes it so enjoyable to be involved in.


Fantastic work from Danny, Chorley FC and the trust.

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When and why Entonox can be administered in sport


Entonox is a pain killing/relieving gas that is made up of 50% Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and 50% Oxygen (O2). It is a very effective analgesic agent with rapid onset and offset characteristics. Nitrous oxide was discovered in the mid-1700s and first used in America to reduce the pain of tooth extraction. It was introduced into Europe in 1867.


In studies 20-30% nitrous oxide had a comparable analgesic effect to 15mg of sub cut morphine, and 50% nitrous oxide (Entonox) was equivalent to 100mgs of pethidine. (Chapman et al, The analgesic effects of low concentrations of Nitrous Oxide compared in man with morphine sulphate).

Entonox should be considered for the relief of pain after traumatic injury and prior to splinting a suspected fracture or painful soft tissue injury in adults and children. Entonox is a self-administered, inhaled analgesic agent indicated for moderate to severe pain.

Traumatic sports injuries can occur in any sport and at any level from grassroots to professional and international level. Some sports and clubs are well equipped to deal with these injuries, but not all have access to the appropriate equipment or training. This can leave players at risk and in pain while waiting for the NHS emergency services to arrive due to pressures on the system. A story that emphasizes this is a rugby player in South Wales with a broken leg who was left waiting on the pitch for three hours for an ambulance to arrive.


The 30-year-old broke his tibia and fibula while playing for Morriston RFC in Swansea on a Saturday afternoon and the game had to be called off.  Luigi Segadelli had waited so long, paramedics told him he could lose his foot, which had turned blue.

Good sports first aid training and/or medical training, combined with the correct use of Entonox, can offer immediate pain relief and enable appropriate splinting and player management following a traumatic sports injury. An example of this is the recent injury to Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld who suffered a broken shoulder bone and was stretchered off after a fall during a match against Stoke City, “The game was hell. I was in so much pain” (Toby Alderweireld) (click here for full story)

It is important that Entonox is administered correctly and by people who have been appropriately trained, within their scope of professional practice. This is because there are practical elements to the administration of Entonox as well as side effects to consider and contra-indications to its use.

On our medical gases courses we cover Entonox administration and all the points raised above. Medical gas administration is also referred to in our Sports Trauma Management Course.  For more information visit our course page

When and why Oxygen administration can be used within Sport

Oxygen is a treatment for hypoxaemia (lack of oxygen in the blood), not for breathlessness. Oxygen has not been shown to have any effect on the sensation of breathlessness in non-hypoxaemic patients (Driscoll et al British Thoracic Society guidelines for emergency oxygen use in adult patients 2008).

All seriously traumatised players, Head injury, Spinal injury, Chest injury, Unconsciousness, serious bleeding etc. should be given high flow oxygen as an initial, on field treatment.

Trauma can affect the respiratory system’s ability to adequately provide oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide in 3 main ways:-

  • Hypoventilation – This can result from a reduced level of consciousness due to head trauma or brain injury, an obstructed airway or decreased expansion of the lungs.
  • Hypoxemia – Decreased oxygen levels in the blood due to reduced oxygen transfer across the membrane
  • Hypoxia - Caused by decreased blood flow (due to low blood volume or blood pressure) or due to a blockage of fluid in the lungs.

(Information from the PHTLS, prehospital Trauma Life Support, seventh edition 2011)

The upper airway should be checked first and any visible foreign objects removed, suction can be used to remove any blood or vomit in the mouth. The head tilt/chin lift should be used to remove the tongue from the back of the airway (or jaw thrust if a spinal injury is suspected).

High flow oxygen should be initially applied, for all seriously traumatised players/patients, using a non-rebreathe oxygen mask (see image below).

Good first aid and/or Sports Trauma Management training combined with the correct use of oxygen can increase the chances of survival following a traumatic injury. An example of this is the recent injury to Tommy Smith of Huddersfield Town who suffered a head injury during a recent game. He was “in and out of consciousness for 10 minutes” and was eventually air lifted to hospital. Follow the link below for the full story.

Oxygen should be used for all seriously traumatised sports competitors or patients. It can also be used to treat some chronic and acute medical conditions such as Asthma, COPD, emphysema, Anaphylaxis, Angina and Heart attacks. Ideally Oxygen should be administered and titrated to a therapeutic level using a pulse oximeter (as shown below).

The oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate can then be monitored whilst waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Reducing the flow rate, to a therapeutic level, also helps to extend the length of time the oxygen cylinder will last. Click on link below for more information on pulse oximetry.

Oxygen is indicated following all serious traumatic injuries to players or patients. It can also be used to treat many other chronic and/or acute medical conditions. It must be used correctly with the appropriate equipment and training to be effective.

On our medical gases courses we cover Oxygen administration and the points raised above. Medical gas administration is also included in our Sports Trauma Management Course.  For more information visit our course page CLICK HERE

Further reading on the pre-hospital use of oxygen in Adults is available below.

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