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The Importance of Having Defibrillators on University Campuses

Published on 15th June 2018

Every year in the UK over 600 people under the age of 35 die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Many of these deaths could be prevented with access to a defibrillator, along with effective CPR, both of which are incredibly accessible for universities, their students and their staff.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs when an electrical malfunction in the heart causes it to beat in an irregular rhythm, stopping oxygenated blood from being pumped around the body. The only proven treatment is the use of a defibrillator and effective CPR, restoring the patient’s heart to a normal rhythm. If administered in the first 3-4 minutes, the victim’s survival chances increase tenfold, from 10% to 70% – but with every minute without decreases the survival rate by 10%. If treatment is used within the first minute, the survival rate can be as high as 90%.

The average UK ambulance time response is 11 minutes, even longer if they must navigate a large university campus. It is vital that universities have defibrillators on site. Is this a risk worth taking? Even if your campus is two minutes from the nearest medical service, is the life of an individual worth waiting for?

Universities are often the epicentre of a city, making defibrillators not only accessible for university associates but for those members of the public in the surrounding areas, potentially protecting the lives of thousands of individuals in the area from SCA.

Universities are actively encouraging students across the country to participate in sports and fitness activities on a more regular basis. Unfortunately, as we know, the preconceptions of Sudden Cardiac Arrest only affecting the old, unfit and unhealthy and far from the truth, we need to ensure our young adults are protected when participating in sport.

There are tens of thousands of university students participating in sporting events every day, surely, they deserve the same right as any other educational establishment?