Dons staying at the heart of the matter

MK Dons carry out regular heart scans to prevent any life-threatening incidents to their players.

With more and more cases of footballers suffering from heart conditions - most notably Marc-Vivien Foe and Fabrice Muamba - the FA has increased the number of cardiac assessments that young footballers are given from one to three, at the ages of 16, 18 and 20.

Dean Lewington gets a pre-season check

Dean Lewington gets a pre-season check

While a player's next assessment may not come until they are 25, Dons insist on carrying out the checks every two years and to ensure every new player has one on their record.

Simon Crampton, Head of Sport Science and Medicine, said: "There are FA requirements which have over the years have progressed. Everyone, at 16 when they sign, will have an ECG (electrocradiogram) and echocardiogram. We repeat that every two years. The FA say to do it at 18, 20 and 25 but we do it every two.

"We know every player has been screen appropriately. When we do the medicals for new players, we make sure the players have them on record and if not, we do one. It's really important."

>> Read part one of our interview with Simon Crampton here
>> Read part two of our interview with Simon Crampton here
>> Read part three of our interview with Simon Crampton here
With the sight of defibrillators being more and more common outside community buildings in Milton Keynes, Crampton and his team carry one everywhere they go to ensure not just the safety of their players, but anyone in need.

Simon Crampton in discussion with Adam Ross on the Dons bench

Simon Crampton in discussion with Adam Ross on the Dons bench

He continued: "When it comes to first response, we always have a defibrillator. You'll see us with a little orange handbag, and that's it. We actually feel naked without it now. We have it on the coach with us, in the hotel, it's always with us. It's rare, but you hear the horror stories. If it takes me carrying around a little handbag and it may increase their chances of survival, it's worth doing.

"We need to see more of it in Milton Keynes. I see a few around in community buildings and supermarkets, but we need to continue to promote it."