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Heart problems are often associated with older adults. Sadly, it takes a tragedy to remember that this isn’t always the case. In schools across the UK, Sudden Cardiac Srrest (SCA) causes the death of around 300 children every year. These deaths are often completely unexpected and highlight the importance of adequate preparation in the event of an SCA.

Using a defibrillator as quickly as possible could mean the difference between life and death.

The Facts

Using a defibrillator
in the first three to
five minutes
survival rates
jump from 6% up to


Duty of care
When a child enters school, the duty of care is handed over from the parents to teachers and school staff. Just like a parent, they have a duty to protect children against foreseeable risks of personal injury or harm. This means putting in CPR initiatives and installing a defibrillator on site.

Safeguarding against tragedy
Defibrillators are not a legal requirement in schools. But this does not stop the importance of safeguarding and doing everything possible to protect students from the lethal dangers of a sudden cardiac arrest.

How do they work?

Modern defibrillators are inexpensive, simple to operate, and safe for users.

  • Simple to operate
    Defibrillators are designed to be used by people with no medical background. Members of staff or the general public can follow voice or visual prompts given by the device through the entire process from the moment it’s switched on. For even more assurance, training can be provided.
  • Safe
    The device will never shock someone whose heart is in a non-shockable rhythm. Anyone operating a defibrillator can rest assured that they will not shock someone unless they need it.
  • Legally covered
    There are many fears and rumours regarding legal repercussions of using CPR or a defibrillator. You cannot be sued for trying to save someone’s life with a defibrillator.

Installing a defibrillator

There are certain risk factors to consider before installation:

The greatest risk factor for young people is athletic activity or intense physical exertion.

SCA accounts for 75% of all young athlete related deaths.

Ideally, a defibrillator needs to be easily accessible from anywhere in the school - especially near sports facilities, such as the school gym or sports field.

Next steps / More information

Due to the severity of a sudden cardiac arrest, it’s essential that teachers, parents, and students are adequately equipped to handle one at school.

More Info