Government advice to install life-saving equipment in schools is welcomed by EMAS

EMAS are recruiting up to 80 frontline staff to cope with increased demand.
EMAS are recruiting up to 80 frontline staff to cope with increased demand.
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The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has written to all schools in Lincolnshire to encourage the installation of defibrillators on school premises.

EMAS said it has welcomed guidance issued by the Department of Education which urges schools to install defibrillators on their premises.

Steve Pratten, community response manager for Lincolnshire, said: “We think this is a great initiative and one that will definitely save lives.

“Statistics show that nationally, several thousand young people each year will suffer a cardiac arrest and of these, hundreds of incidents will happen when the child is on school premises.

“What’s more, in 80 per cent of cases, the child will have had no previous symptoms; they just collapse without any warning.

“In cases like this, rapid defibrillation is absolutely key because for every minute that passes by until treatment begins; survival rates reduce by 11 per cent.

“We respond to life-threatening calls like this as quickly as we possibly can; but having a defibrillator on school premises means a few vital minutes can be saved. This early intervention boosts the chances of a successful outcome for the patient because when our frontline crews arrive, they can use their advanced skills to provide follow-up treatment.

“That’s why we’ve written to all schools in Lincolnshire asking them to think carefully about how they can better protect the children in their care. We will provide as much support as we can to the schools who take the decision to install a defibrillator because each day, we have first-hand experience of how vital they can be.”