Tracey Crouch, MP of Chatham and Aylesford is embarking on a campaign to help get community defibrillators into her constituency’s schools.
12 children under the age of 18 die each week from cardiac arrest and many of these deaths would be preventable if the right equipment was readily available.
Reports have found that a victim’s chance of survival increases to 75% from 5% if good CPR and therapy is delivered with a defibrillator in the first three minutes.
As ex-Sport Minister, this campaign is close to Crouch’s heart, “I had heard tragic stories about loss of life where the availability of a defibrillator could have meant the difference between someone surviving a cardiac arrest and not.”
The Department of Education has announced that they will be allowing schools to purchase defibrillators at a lower cost in a bid to help combat these statistics.
Tracey has already secured funding for all of the secondary schools in her constituency, however only a handful of them have decided to have one fitted.
The Headteacher at Greenacre Academy, S. Bridger believes, “that there are no disadvantages to having an AED fitted in our school. In the case of an emergency they can help prevent/save a life from a potentially fatal situation.”
The defibrillators themselves cost around £2000-£3000. This money has been secured by Crouch’s constituency in different ways, i.e. by a member of Tracey’s staff running the London Marathon and big donations from businesses.
With success in schools, Crouch has also started to have the community defibrillators fitted across her community in a hope to make a definite change in the future for Chatham and Aylesford.
Despite Crouch no longer being Sports Minister, she has made it clear that health and fitness is still important,
“I started this campaign some time before becoming Sports Minister, it is something I will continue to promote at suitable places across my constituency in the future.”