Call for defibrillators in schools


A campaign to get defibrillators installed in every school is gathering momentum after being backed by a group of headteachers in Liverpool.

The Oliver King Foundation is campaigning for the government to install defibrillators in all public buildings in the next five years and wants ECG scans for all 14 to 35-year-olds.

Oliver King was a pupil at King David High School in Childwall, Liverpool, when in March last year he died during a swimming lesson after suffering Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome – the same condition that saw Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapse during a game earlier this year.

It is thought that 270 children die every year of a sudden cardiac arrest while at school. 

Oliver’s family believe that if a defibrillator had been available then he might have survived.

The campaign has already seen a first aid course at King David High School which taught pupils aged 14 to 16 how to use a defibrillator and now £100,000 has been spent on providing a defibrillator to every primary school in Liverpool.

The purchase of the defibrillators was proposed by the Liverpool Primary Headteachers’ Association and agreed by the Schools Forum in the city.

Warning signs of SADS include fainting or seizure during exercise or excitement, consistent or unusual chest pain and/or shortness of breath during exercise.

Elsewhere, an e-petition on the government’s website calling for defibrillators in all public buildings has gathered more than 16,000 signatures.

The petition can be found at and for more information on the campaign, visit


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