The Government should make it a legal requirement for all UK public buildings to be equipped with lifesaving defibrillators, Liberal Democrat Lord Mike Storey told Parliament today.
The former Liverpool Council leader also called on the Health Minister to meet with the Oliver King Foundation to discuss the possibility of a national screening programme to identify those at risk of premature cardiac conditions.
The OK Foundation was set up in memory of the 12-year-old Childwall boy who died when his heart stopped as he swam in the pool at King David High school in March 2011. It believes a defibrillator – which can restart the heart in the event of cardiac arrest – would have saved the life of the youngster.
Today, in oral questions in the House of Lords, Lord Storey asked Conservative Health Minister Earl Howe what measures the Government was taking to detect and prevent sudden cardiac death.
He said: “He will no doubt be aware that hundreds of young people die as a result of fatal premature cardiac conditions each year. He may also have heard of the Oliver King Foundation, established in memory of a 12-year-old Liverpool boy who sadly died at his school of sudden death syndrome in 2011.
“Does the Minister not agree that, despite many ambulance trusts having some form of community resuscitation department, it should be policy to install automatic external defibrillators in all public buildings?
“Furthermore, will the Minister agree to meet with the Foundation and others to discuss the feasibility of a national screening programme to identify those at risk and prevent further loss of life, particularly amongst young people?”
In response, Earl Howe said that, while he agreed that a greater availability of defibrillators could have more lives, he believed CPR skills would save more.
Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at LDHQ, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.