IT’S the tool that could save a life.
Now paramedics across the south are backing the Daily Echo’s campaign to have defibrillators installed in every school in the county.
The Daily Echo launched the campaign after the life-saving kit stopped 16-year-old schoolboy Sam Mangoro from dying from a heart attack.
Quick-thinking staff used the school defibrillator at Mountbatten School to restart his heart after he collapsed.
But Mountbatten School is one of just a handful of schools in the county to have the lifesaving equipment.
Our campaign has been backed by education leaders, head teachers and politicians.
Now South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has got behind it.
SCAS say the sooner a person is shocked with a defibrillator the better their chances of survival.
If a person is shocked within one minute of collapsing their chances could be as high as 90 per cent but if they are left for more than ten minutes it is reduced to just five per cent.
It is also vital to get help, phone 999 and give the person chest compressions.
Daily Echo reporter Rebecca Pearson learns how to use a defibrillator
Pre-hospital responder Mark Ainsworth-Smith said: “We would totally support all schools to have immediate access to defibrillators. Everyone knows where their local school is and the idea is for the community to have access to them.
“We know that the quicker the patient gets access to a defibrillator the better. They’re so simple and they tell you exactly what to do.
“These machines are so advanced that it will recognise when someone does and doesn’t need to be shocked.
“The defibrillators are fantastic but two other things that will help save the patient’s life is calling for help early and having the confidence to do chest compressions.
“Chest compressions will pump blood back to the brain, the heart and other organs so that gives you time. If we did no chest compressions the person may suffer irreversible brain damage after just a few minutes.
“If you do nothing, that person is going to die so by doing something you’re giving them the best chance of survival.”
SCAS has launched an AED locater iPhone app which will map the nearest defibrillators inside Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.