UK schools to get defibrillators to save children suffering cardiac arrest

8 December 2014

The UK Department for Education (DfE) has awarded a contract for an initial provision of 500 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Philips through a public procurement framework with NHS Supply Chain.

The contract is part of a national drive to improve emergency school safety procedures and reduce sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and undiagnosed heart conditions that affect up to 12 young people per week.

Andy Lockey from the Resuscitation Council (UK) said, “We welcome this strategy as it recognises the importance of swift access to an AED and quality CPR for victims of cardiac arrest. We are hopeful that this will prompt more teaching and awareness of CPR and AEDs within schools. This national drive for access to AEDs in schools could not come soon enough, and is a crucial step that we know will save lives.”

Philips already provides AEDs to more than 60 schools across Leicestershire. This latest agreement sees the company working within a network of third sector and government partners with the aim of increasing the provision of AEDs to cover the more-than 35,000 schools nationwide. By providing life-saving equipment, promoting hands-on defibrillation training and offering an extensive set of convenient distance learning materials such as videos, apps and a website, the aim is that no child dies of an SCA on school grounds.

Neil Mesher, Managing Director at Philips Healthcare UK&I said; “Our AED school programme in Leicestershire has already brought benefits that go far beyond the school gates, so we’re excited to take our school collaborations to a national level. At Philips, community preparedness is as important an element of healthcare as the work we do in the acute and secondary care settings, and we believe this agreement is a clear demonstration of that.”

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