Cutting sudden cardiac arrest in schools

With up to 270 people1 suffering a sudden cardiac arrest in UK schools and colleges every year, AEDdonate is offering educational institutions a simple way of safeguarding the lives of students, staff and visitors.

From just over £1 a day, AEDdonate can install a state-of-the-art automated external defibrillator (AED) in any school or college. Alternatively, for the same amount, parent teacher associations, local businesses or community groups can donate an AED.

AEDdonate’s offer to schools follows the publication by the Department of Education this year of the ‘Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions’ guidance. This contains a recommendation for the installation of AEDs in schools, as part of their essential first aid kits.

AEDs are easy to use, compact, portable and very effective. They are designed for use by people with little or no training, and they guide users through verbal instructions and visual prompts. AEDs are safe and will not allow a shock to be given unless the heart’s rhythm requires it.

With the chances of survival decreasing by 10% every minute2 after a sudden cardiac arrest, immediate treatment with an AED is vital.

Jamie Richards, Director of AEDdonate, says:

“We are all familiar with mature adults being struck by sudden cardiac arrests – 100,000 people are affected every year in the UK. But many will find it shocking that as many as 270 of those cardiac arrests take place on school premises, as a result of pre-existing health conditions, sporting accidents or other trauma.

“That is why AEDdonate is offering schools and colleges the opportunity to install a state-of-the-art AED on their premises from just over £1 per day. We’ll provide training and ongoing maintenance as part of the package.

“And because we know that educational budgets are under enormous pressure, we encourage local PTAs, businesses and community organisations to get involved by donating an AED to their local school or college. AEDdonate can even match schools and colleges with potential donating companies.

“Businesses that work with AEDdonate to provide a local school or college with a defibrillator will not only confirm their places at the heart of their local communities, but will benefit from the widespread publicity that we will provide.

“However, this isn’t just about buying kit for local schools, or advertising local businesses. This is about saving lives.”

AEDdonate is a major campaign which aims to dramatically increase the number of AEDs available for public use. Having been trialled in Staffordshire over recent months, the campaign has just been launched nationally and wants to ensure that an AED is available on every high street, in every school and college, and in a range of other community facilities throughout the UK.

AEDdonate is supported by major businesses such as Cardiac Science, many of the UK’s Ambulance Trusts and cardiac charities such as SADS UK.  SADS UK highlights cardiac risk in young people and prevents loss of life from sudden cardiac arrest.  AEDdonate shares its aims with the SADS UK Big Shock campaign, to make defibrillators available in all schools.

The charity’s Chief Executive Officer, Anne Jolly, adds:

 “All schools must now be equipped with a fire extinguisher, yet there is more chance of a cardiac arrest happening in schools, than of a fire breaking out. Many lives have been saved by those schools already equipped with an AED. If more schools follow suit, even more lives can be saved.”

To find out more about installing an AED in your local school or college, please visit