Primary and Secondary schools on the Island are being offered a vitally important life saving piece of equipment called an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) thanks to the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service and Isle of Wight NHS Trust, which is funding the project.
All Secondary schools on the Island have been offered an AED. Primary schools have been approached by the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service to ascertain whether they have a child or staff member with a serious pre existing medical condition, i.e. a cardiac condition. Training will be provided by the Isle of Wight Ambulance Commercial Training team with follow on support and advice available as and when required.
Chris Smith, Head of the Island’s Ambulance Service, said, “As Head of the service I am extremely pleased to be embarking on the new venture with the schools on the Island where a defibrillator will be placed. Staff at the schools will be trained by our Commercial Training team in the use of the defibrillators and they can be used in the event of a cardiac arrest at the site.
The IOW Ambulance service are proud to serve the public on the Island and will work with all agencies to ensure we have trained staff and the right equipment in place in key areas to hopefully prevent some of the avoidable deaths that occur as Sudden Cardiac Arrest.”
First to take delivery of their defibrillators is Ryde Academy and Christ the KingCollege. Dawn Cunnington, Ryde Academy Nurse, said: “We are very grateful to the Ambulance Service for providing our school with an Automated External Defibrillator. This is an excellent initiative as ultimately it may save a child’s life. I am really impressed with how easy it is to use.”
Receiving the defibrillator from the Commercial Training Team, Val Gard, Inclusion Manager, Christ the King College, said: “Following the sudden tragic deaths of young people highlighted in the national newspapers, and the great outcome for Fabric Muamba due to the immediate use of the defibrillator, we are extremely grateful to the IOW Ambulance Service for the defibrillator which has been presented to the College. To know that this vital piece of life saving equipment is on site and can make a difference if used quickly after a collapse, is reassuring for our students, staff and parents. CarisbrookePrimary School is also able to access the defibrillator if required, greatly improving the chance of survival.”
Implementation for the defibrillators in schools has also been supported by national charities and locally by Frans Adolescent Cardiac Trust (FACT) a charity set up by Tina Meteric following her daughters cardiac condition.
The IW Ambulance Service already have a number of supporting sites on the Island whereby AEDs have been provided such as leisure centres and theme parks and are looking to increased the number of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs). Any area that wishes to independently purchase an AED can contact the Ambulance Commercial Training Team for more information on 534111 or email [email protected]
‘The scientific evidence to support early defibrillation is overwhelming; the delay from collapse to delivery of the first shock is the single most important determinant of survival. If defibrillation is delivered promptly, survival rates as high as 75% have been reported. The chances of successful defibrillation decline at a rate of about 10% with each minute of delay.’ The Resuscitation Council UK 2010