HEARTSTART Thatcham has donated a life-saving device to Kennet School.
The charity has continued its mission to install defibrillators in the community by donating a device to the Stoney Lane school.
A defibrillator is used on a person who is in cardiac arrest, which means the heart is no longer pumping blood around the body.
This is different from a heart attack, which is a sudden interruption to the blood supply to part of the heart muscle.
Cardiac arrest requires immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator where possible to increase the chance of survival.
Scheme co-ordinator, Dr Nick Young, said: “We want to protect people and give them a fighting chance should a cardiac arrest happen. Placing one in the school not only protects staff and pupils but will also protect the surrounding residents.”
The device checks the casualty for a heart rhythm and will shock them if necessary to help stop the heart from fibrillating. Staff and headmaster Paul Dick OBE have been trained on how to use the defibrillator; and pupils have also used a training device to show that it cannot be misused.
Dr Young said: “Working with the school has not only allowed us to educate pupils about the defibrillator but highlight to everyone that cardiac arrest is an indiscriminate killer; it can happen to anyone at any time.”
Indeed, Dr Young said that 12 young people die from sudden cardiac arrest every week, out of a total of some 30,000 ou-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year.
Survival depends on reaction time and having the right equipment to hand.
Following a training session and an assembly with Year 8, Mr Dick said: “Congratulations to Dr Nick Young and his team.
“The work they do, in making defibrillators available throughout our community, is outstanding.
“Thank you too to Nick for the excellent training he has given both to staff and to pupils, so that we can extend the effectiveness of his programme. Kennet School is delighted to make a further contribution to the health and welfare of the community we serve.”
Heartstart Thatcham delivers free Emergency Life Support (ELS) training, which allows a person to cope in a medical emergency until professional help arrives.