Schools and defibrillators

by Keith -

School DefibrillatorsThere is a lot of evidence showing that defibrillators drastically increase the chance of survival from cardiac arrest. Defibrillators have the potential to save the lives of pupils, staff, and visitors in schools. The latest research shows that accessing a defibrillator within 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%.

The Oliver King Foundation, which is supported by ex-footballer Jamie Carragher, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of this issue.

Since meeting with the foundation’s founder, Mark King, who tragically lost his son Oliver at the age of 12 to a cardiac arrest, the government has worked with charities and experts, including the British Heart Foundation, to identify the scale of need across English schools.

The Department of Education is planning to provide all state-funded schools across England with defibrillators by the end of next year. This will ensure that there is a life-saving device in every school and boost the number of defibrillators in communities across the country.

It is really important that they are available close to sports halls and playing fields that children, young people, and the community use daily.

There are already requirements for schools to teach first aid as part of the curriculum. Secondary school pupils are being taught life-saving methods, such as CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), and also why defibrillators are used.

While many schools already have defibrillators on site, the purpose of this programme is to fill in the gaps to ensure more schools and local communities have access to this important first aid equipment.

State-funded schools will be surveyed to assess the number of devices needed to ensure all have access, with the figure estimated at more than 20,000 in total. The Government has committed to funding at least one defibrillator in every school, with more for larger sites.

Further details of the rollout and device specification will be confirmed in the autumn term.

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