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Oldham’s Mission in Getting Defibrillators in Schools

Published on 1st March 2017

A GP in Oldham has mounted a campaign to fit a defibrillator in every school in the borough.

The Oldham Evening Chronicle reported on the efforts by Dr Anita Sharma, who is working in conjunction with children’s charity Hand on Heart.

According to the charity, there are still 60 schools in Oldham that don’t have this life-saving piece of equipment on site.

Dr Sharma explained that sudden cardiac arrest can strike people of all ages, which is why it’s so important to have these pieces of equipment installed and easily accessible in schools.

“If there is even one thing we can do, if there is just one life we can save, we have to provide all Oldham schools with a defibrillator,” she asserted.

Hand on Heart has already helped two schools install defibrillators, and intends to work with local MPs, businesses and councillors to help secure the funding for the remaining devices that are required.

The charity’s main aims are to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest in young people, which currently kills 12 young people a week in the UK; to provide and fund more defibrillators for schools; and to educate young people on basic life-saving skills, including how to operate defibrillators.

Survival rates increase dramatically – from under 10% to 70% – if basic CPR skills are carried out and if a defibrillator is used within the first 3-5 minutes while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

February is a particularly pertinent time to think about raising funds to install a defibrillator in a school, or any other organisation, as it is the British Heart Foundation’s National Heart Month. The charity has a host of resources on how to improve heart health and aims to encourage people to make small lifestyle changes that can positively impact their health.

*Stats are taken at the time of published article