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Where to Store Defibrillators at Schools

Published on 22nd January 2024

AEDs in UK schools are a must-have to increase the chances of survival during unexpected cardiac arrests affecting all age groups.

The presence of our range of Lifeline Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in UK schools is not just a safety measure but a necessity and knowing where to store defibrillators at school ensures that students and staff have the best possible chance of surviving SCA. Given that sudden cardiac arrest can occur unexpectedly and affects all age groups, having AEDs readily available on school premises increases the chances of survival in such critical situations.

In schools, as with any environment, the prompt response to a cardiac emergency can mean the difference between life and death.

Integrating AEDs in UK schools aligns with national health and safety standards. Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, schools are legally required to provide adequate first aid equipment and trained personnel. This includes having AEDs and ensuring staff are trained in their use.

The deployment of AEDs not only complies with these legal requirements but also fosters a culture of preparedness and responsibility. It empowers school staff and older students with the knowledge and tools to act decisively during emergencies, thereby enhancing the overall safety and well-being of the school community.

Optimal Storage Locations

Regarding optimal AED storage locations, accessibility and visibility are paramount. Key locations include the main entrance or reception area, which ensures that the AED is immediately accessible to anyone entering the school, including visitors and first responders. Equally important are areas with high levels of physical activity, such as gymnasiums and outdoor athletic fields, where the risk of sudden cardiac arrest may be heightened.

Dining and common areas, frequented by many students and staff throughout the day, are also strategic locations. Additionally, placing AEDs in central corridors can efficiently serve multiple classrooms and facilities, ensuring that every part of the school is within a potentially life-saving device.

Beyond these high-traffic areas, it’s essential to consider other strategic locations such as auditoriums, assembly halls, and staff rooms. Auditoriums and assembly halls are often the sites of large gatherings, where the availability of an AED can be crucial in a time-sensitive emergency. Staff rooms ensure school personnel have quick access to an AED, which is vital as they are often the first responders in a school emergency. It’s also beneficial to install AEDs at a height that is accessible to all potential users, including students. To complement these efforts, clear signage and regular awareness campaigns can help ensure everyone on campus knows where the nearest AED is. Collectively, these measures contribute to creating a safer and more responsive school environment.

Additional Insights

The defibrillator storage cabinets should be designed to shield the device from environmental factors such as dust, moisture, and extreme temperatures, which could affect its functionality. These storage solutions should also balance security and accessibility, protecting the devices from potential vandalism or misuse while ensuring they can be accessed rapidly in an emergency.

Maintenance and Regular Checks form a crucial part of the standards. AEDs need regular inspection to ensure they are in working order. This includes checking battery life, electrode pad expiry dates, and the overall condition of the device. Schools should establish a routine maintenance schedule, with designated staff responsible for these checks, ensuring the AEDs are always ready for use.

Lastly, the Integration of Technology can enhance these standards. Modern AED cabinets can be equipped with alarm systems that alert when the cabinet is opened or when the AED needs maintenance. 

Should you have any questions regarding the Martek range of AED storage, please contact one of our team.

Rob Higgie

About The Author

Rob Higgie - Regional Sales Manager

Rob Higgie, Regional Sales Manager at Martek Lifecare, is an experienced community first responder with 11 years of experience in the field, and as of January 2023, he’s attended 86 cardiac arrests, resulting in 28 ROSCs (return of spontaneous circulation).

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