On 28th May 1998 my beautiful, fit and healthy son Ashley died suddenly from a cardiac arrest. He was 16 years old and had showed no signs of illness, he rarely suffered from bugs that went around, his immune system seemed impenetrable! Ashley had an enthusiasm for life that inspired those he met; a quiet, gentle boy, someone people could depend upon.
Despite amazing medical advances since Ashley's death, at least 12 young people a week tragically lose their lives to cardiac conditions that cause a Sudden Arrhythmic Death (SAD). Overwhelming evidence shows that defibrillators save lives – Fabrice Muamba is still alive due to them - yet only 10% of UK schools have one in the building.
I'm asking for the Government to ensure that there is a defibrillator in every school to prevent other families being devastated by a sudden young death in the way in which my own family was.
The UK Resuscitation Council suggests a defibrillator should be used within 5 minutes of cardiac arrest, given that the average response time for the ambulance service is 8 minutes, it's vital that schools have a defibrillator within the building. Defibrillators cost around £1,000, isn’t this a small price to pay for equipment that’s been proven to save lives?
Please sign my petition and make sure there is a defibrillator within every school. You can find out more about the work of charity SADS UK at: http://sadsuk.org.uk/
Bring forward a strategy to ensure that all schools have defibrillators
In an emergency the immediate delivery of a therapeutic defibrillation shock to a pupil, teacher or visitor to the school will give them the best possible chance of survival.
It is likely that children with undiagnosed heart conditions exist within the school population.
As many as 1 in 500 hundred children may suffer from cardiomyopathy, also conditions such as Long QT, Brugada, CPVT and Wolf Parkinson White Syndromes. The first sign of one of these conditions can be sudden cardiac arrest.
Sports activities can exacerbate cardiac problems. Blunt blows to the chest, such as that of a football or rugby ball can cause Commotio cordis, resulting in cardiac arrest. Other factors besides heart disease and heart attack can cause cardiac arrest; they include:- Respiratory arrest, Electrocution, Choking, Trauma