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SCHOOLS across NSW are to get defibrillators and comprehensive resuscitation training as the Baird Government scraps outdated rules and takes action on a scandal that kills some of our best and brightest young children.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