Wednesday 26th June 2013 – 1.30pm – Suzie Fothergill.
A representative from West Midlands Ambulance Service recently visited Downing Street to support cardiac charity SADS UK in delivering a petition as part of their ‘The Big Shock Campaign’.
On Thursday 20th June, WMAS Community Response Manager, Matt Heward joined Anne and John Jolly, the founders of SADS UK, Redditch MP Karen Lumley and representatives from London Ambulance Service to deliver an 8,000 signature petition to the Prime Minister’s Office, urging the Government to bring in legislation making defibrillators mandatory in all schools.
With an estimated 270 cardiac arrests occurring in UK schools each year SADS UK felt compelled to launch ‘The Big Shock Campaign’, which is a nationwide initiative to make defibrillators available on all school premises.
Talking about the campaign, Anne Jolly, founder of SADS UK said: “It is likely that children with undiagnosed heart conditions exist within the school population and sadly cardiac arrests may happen at any time. The charity knows only too well the heartache of parents who contact the charity after the sudden death of a child.
“Applying a defibrillator as soon as possible when a person goes into cardiac arrest gives them best chance of surviving.
“All schools must have fire extinguishers, but the chance of someone dying from a fire at the school is far less likely than a person dying from cardiac arrest. This lifesaving equipment is absolutely vital and must be in place on all school premises.”
In support of the campaign Matt Heward, WMAS Community Response Manager said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service fully supports SADS UK with their Big Shock Campaign. As a service we strongly believe that by having defibrillators installed in public places, such as schools, and by having people trained in their use, helps to ensure that the best care possible can be provided quickly and effectively, should anyone ever unfortunately suffer a cardiac arrest.
“The quicker someone is defibrillated, not only improves the chance of their survival, but it can also help to improve the chances of a patient’s full recovery and reduce the time to do so. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.
“The Trust believes it is important to ensure that not only are defibrillators available in schools but that pupils also have the opportunity to learn vital lifesaving skills at a young age.”
For more information about local initiatives and free lifesaving first aid courses available to the public within the West Midlands Region please contact Matt Heward via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/Pages/CFRs.aspx
Notes to Editors
Pictured from left to right: SADS UK West Midlands Representatives, Margaret Underwood and Robert Underwood , Anne Jolly, Founder of SADS UK, Karen Lumley MP for Redditch, Martin Bullock and Malcolm Ritchie from London Ambulance Service and Matthew Heward from West Midlands Ambulance Service.
If used pictures must be credited to SADS UK