Defibrillators in Schools

Posted on 12 July 2021

The young and Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

Most people associate heart disease and cardiac arrests with older people, making a assumption it doesn’t affect the young.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Figures differing slightly (depending on the source) but it has been reported that over 270 children a year die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK alone.

Survival rate is low.  Most schools do not have access to a defibrillator – there is no mandatory requirement to have one – and whilst the community the school is situated in may have a defibrillator, it isn’t necessarily close enough if one was needed in an emergency.

SCA statistics:

  • Every week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young aged 35 and under die from undiagnosed cardiac conditions.*
  • Added to which 60,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals in the UK over the course of a year.
  • Less than 1 in 10 survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This has been attributed to two factors:
    1. There aren’t enough people prepared to perform CPR
    2. There aren’t enough defibrillators.^


How to campaign for a defibrillator in your school

With no official figures on the number of schools with defibs, or a defibrillator outside the school gates, the latest estimates are at around just 5%.  At least one member of staff will be trained as a first aider, which may include defib training; but even without training, an automatic defibrillator does all the work for you.  To hear what a defibrillator’s instructions sounds like, click here

If you want to help fundraise for your school, or feel they need a defibrillator, we can help.  Defibs and their cabinets are often funded by charitable organisations that are set up to support the school, or other organisations such as a local Rotary Club.  For funding ideas and opportunities, visit our blog here.

The defib must be easily accessible and registered with the local ambulance service.  In order to do this, a cabinet is necessary to house the defib, so it is available 24/7 in times of an emergency.

If you are interested in getting a defib for your school, we have a number of different defib & cabinet packages that can be viewed here.  We can also provide both children and adult defibrillator pads.  Or if you would just like some advice, please get in touch here


^ British Heart Foundation