Safety boost as schools get use of de­fib­ril­la­tor

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Mi­ley God­frey

SCHOOLS across NSW are to get de­fib­ril­la­tors and com­pre­hen­sive re­sus­ci­ta­tion train­ing as the Baird Gov­ern­ment scraps out­dated rules and takes ac­tion on a scan­dal that kills some of our best and bright­est young chil­dren.

Three to four young Aus­tralians die each week from sud­den car­diac ar­rest, of­ten af­ter com­pet­ing on sports fields or in swim­ming pools.

Most of the deaths would be pre­ventable if de­fib­ril­la­tors were widely avail­able, but the NSW Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment has never sup­ported their use in schools de­spite clear ev­i­dence they save lives.

Pri­vate schools have them, as do many work­places.

“From early 2016, for the first time, NSW gov­ern­ment schools will be able to in­clude de­fib­ril­la­tors in their first-aid plan,” Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Adrian Pic­coli said. Schools which chose to in­clude a de­fib­ril­la­tor in their first-aid plan will have ac­cess to ad­vice on staff train­ing, main­te­nance and stor­age.

Car­di­ol­o­gist Chris Sem­sar­ian, who helped lead a cam­paign, said the de­ci­sion would not only save lives but give par­ents greater con­fi­dence in the state’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

Many young vic­tims of car­diac ar­rest are fit and healthy but have un­de­tected, un­der­ly­ing heart con­di­tions.

Ja­cob Richards, a 15-yearold state run­ner and rep­re­sen­ta­tive soc­cer player from Plump­ton, died in 2009 af­ter re­turn­ing home from the gym.

Ja­cob Richards.

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