Defibrillators law set for schools

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Cllr Jake Morrison, Penny Mordaunt MP & Mark King with defibrillator ©The OK Foundation/Twitter

Cllr Jake Morrison, Penny Mordaunt MP and Mark King with defibrillator © The OK Foundation/Twitter

New legislation could mean that defibrillators will become a legal requirement in schools, helping to eliminate preventable deaths like that of 12-year-old Liverpool pupil, Oliver King.

Oliver died of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) in 2011 whilst at King David High School in Childwall. His family believe this could have been avoided if the school had a defibrillator – which can restart the heart in the event of cardiac arrest.

His father, Mark King, set up the Oliver King (OK) Foundation to help raise awareness of the syndrome and what can be done to prevent similar deaths.

A new amendment to the Child and Families Bill could see schools which have pupils with a risk of SADS be made to install defibrillators, or provide life-saving medication.

The Oliver King Foundation tweeted: “This really is great news. What a result it could be. It is nearly the third anniversary of Oliver’s death.”

They also released a statement on their website which said: “Thanks to our patron, Cllr Jake Morrison, an e-petition has been created asking for the government to take a larger role in ensuring that defibrillators are placed into every school and sports hall throughout the country by 2017 and for them to make ECG screenings easily available to those youngsters that may be affected by SADS.”

Cllr Jake Morrison tweeted: “We need parents, teachers, health workers and all to support this! Defibrillators save lives. Contact your MP.”

At present it is down to individual schools as to whether or not they provide defibrillators; there is no legislation in place which stipulates that they must.