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Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 19 February 2019

NHS England announced in the NHS long-term plan that it would work with partners to improve the community first response and build defibrillator networks to improve survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. A national network of community first responders and defibrillators will help to save up to 4,000 lives each year by 2028. This will be supported by educating the general public, including young people of school age, about how to recognise and respond to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

I thank the Minister for her response. Currently, 12 young people a week die from a sudden cardiac arrest, but 80% could be saved if those around them had access to a defibrillator. Will the Minister consider supporting the installation of defibrillators in all schools in England and Wales?

My hon. Friend is right to highlight the 12 deaths from sudden cardiac arrest in the young. Although the purchasing of a defibrillator is a matter for individual schools, the Government would encourage schools to buy them. The NHS supply chain is engaging with school networks to get good prices for these defibrillators, and the Department for Education has published on the Government website guidance for schools on buying and installing an automated external defibrillator. In addition, in January, the DFE announced plans for all children to be taught basic first aid in schools, including how to do CPR and use a defibrillator.