UK To Install Defibrillators in EVERY School Due to Sudden Rise in Heart Problems

UK To Install Defibrillators in EVERY School Due to Sudden Rise in Heart Problems

The British government is set to pass a new law that would require all schools to install defibrillators due to the sudden rise in heart problems among fully jabbed children.

Wales will become the first country in the United Kingdom to roll out defibrillators in all schools, following the recent sudden cardiac arrest of fully jabbed rugby player Steffan Howells.

Howells, who is now an ambassador for the Hearts Cymru charity, said the decision could be the difference between life and death. reports:A freedom of information request from Newyddion S4C showed most local authorities in Wales had no record of which schools had the machines.

The Welsh government said “all state-funded secondary schools have been offered a defibrillator” and it was working to increase the number of devices in communities.

Mr Howells was 26 when he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing rugby in Cardiff in 2022.

He said: “We tend to think it happens a lot more to older people, but I’m proof that people under 30 can also suffer a cardiac arrest.

“Most of the young population are in schools, so if something happened and there wasn’t a defib there then you could lose a life.

“We shouldn’t be waiting for something like that to happen before change is made – it should be law that defibs are mandatory in schools.”

A defibrillator can increase the chances of survival by up to 70% if used within five minutes of cardiac arrest.

According to cardiology consultant Dr Gethin Ellis it “makes sense” to have a defibrillator in places where large amounts of people congregate, such as schools.

“However, you tend to find is that the defibrillators are being put in schools where there’s already been a tragedy,” he said.

“We should look to the future and put defibrillators in all our schools in Wales.”

Some schools have actively raised money to purchase defibrillators, such as the sixth form students at Ysgol Bro Teifi in Llandysul, Ceredigion, who recently organised a sponsored walk to raise £1,500 for a second one for their sport department.

Pupil Jano Evans said: “We’ve heard so many stories that hit home.

“We have a defibrillator in reception but thought it was too far from the sports department, especially as a lot of clubs train there on weekends and after school.

“It should be something that’s mandatory in Wales, because a lot of people aren’t in the position to raise the money like us.”

Caerphilly council currently has the highest proportion of schools with defibrillators, clocking in at 97%, while the figure is only 15% in Carmarthenshire.

Fourteen local authorities in Wales have no record at all of which of their schools have them.

The Welsh government said: “We have provided funding to enable communities to have publicly accessible defibrillators, and every state-funded secondary school has been offered one.

“The NHS Save Lives Wales programme is working with community groups, sports grounds and public sector organisations to increase the number of defibrillators available in community settings.

“The programme also ensures that the devices are registered so that Welsh Ambulance Services know where they are.”