No trained medic when Forth died
OLYMPIC Gardens had no trained medical personnel on their bench when footballer Okeem Forth was substituted injured during a Major League quarter-final match and later pronounced dead at hospital on Friday, April 28.
Coach Michael Peart yesterday told STAR Sports that the team usually has a "part-time nurse" on the bench but she was at work and late for the match. Forth was instead attended by volunteers, who, Peart admitted, were untrained.
"They are just volunteers for Olympic. They don't have any formal medical training. If you get hit on your foot, is just a regular ice and cold-compress person. We have one person on the bench trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but he was the assistant coach at the time," Peart said.
Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) general secretary, Dwayne Dillon, told STAR Sports it is a stipulation that each team should have trained medical personnel as part of their roster when registering for the association's competitions.
"It is a part of the requirement for the club at the beginning of the year. They have to provide the names of these persons at registration. They have to provide their qualifications, otherwise they would not be registered. They wouldn't be sanctioned, but the affiliation process wouldn't be complete and they wouldn't be able to play," he said.
Dillon admitted that KSAFA does not follow-up to ensure that the stipulation is actually adhered to on match days.
"The monitoring, on a match-by-match basis, wouldn't be done," he said, adding that KSAFA also offers training of medical personnel for games.
"We have provided training in the past for these persons so all the teams would be expected to provide one," he said.
However, KSAFA president Wayne Shaw sought to absolve the organisation of blame.
"Everybody seems like they are trying to blame KSAFA, and it is so unfortunate. Every team is supposed to provide a medic," he said.
Meanwhile, an autopsy revealed that Forth died of cardiomyopathy, heart disease. Dillon pointed out that KSAFA provides free medical screening for all youth players, which would include Forth, an offer two teams did not take up, Olympic Gardens being one.
"Nobody from Olympic has come to do this, and to this day they have not," he said.