HAVING a defibrillator nearby can literally be a matter of life and death.
For one Portchester school, the life-saving piece of equipment has been donated by a cardiac charity.
Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome UK donated the equipment to Wicor Primary School as part of its Big Shock campaign.
Wicor Primary contacted the charity after a parent brought in an article about a boy who had suffered a heart attack during PE and died.
SADS UK hopes that by increasing the availability of defibrillators, which cost £1,300 each, more people will be able to survive heart attacks.
Anne Jolly, founder of SADS UK, said: ‘Using CPR alone provides a five per cent chance of survival but using the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to over 50 per cent.
‘This is why SADS UK is so passionate about putting this life-saving equipment in place’
A defibrillator delivers a therapeutic shock and restores the heart’s rhythm.
One of the charity’s top priorities is to improve access in schools, as 270 children die each year after suffering heart attacks in school.
The South Central Ambulance Service trained six members of staff at Wicor Primary School.
Sarah Clark, admin officer at the school, said: ‘What price is a life?
‘With the growing number of people suffering from heart conditions, having the machine means we can considerably improve the chances of survival.
‘We often have pupils’ families on site and it means that we can branch out to help our pupils, their families and even the local community.’
‘We’re extremely pleased that we have this machine at the school.’
The AED is easy to use and has voice prompts to help instruct the rescuer.
SADS UK would also like the government to bring about a mandate to make defibrillators mandatory in all schools.
Each week around 2,000 people die in the UK after experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.
For further information about having a defibrillator in a public place, contact Anne Jolly at SADS UK on 01277 811215, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sadsuk.org.