The UK governent has announced that all state schools in England will be equipped with a defibrillator by the end of the 2022/23 academic year.
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Education Secretary James Cleverly said: “Access to funding must not stand in the way of every school having on-site access to a life-saving defibrillator.”
According to the government website, there is clear evidence that defibrillators drastically increase the chance of survival from a cardiac arrest and they want to make sure that there is a device in every school.
Sky News reports: The move comes after a decade-long campaign led by Mark King, whose 12-year-old son Oliver suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while competing in a swimming race in Liverpool in 2011.
Mr King, who set up the Oliver King Foundation in memory of his son, has been working with former England footballer Jamie Carragher to push for mandatory defibrillators in all schools.
Research shows that accessing a defibrillator within three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%.
The government, which has been working with charities such as the British Heart Foundation to identify the scale of need across all English state-funded schools, has now committed to funding at least one defibrillator in every school – with more for larger campuses.
The number of devices is estimated at more than 20,000 and the first deliveries are expected to begin before Christmas.