Defibrillators To Be Provided In All Public Places Campaign – Change.Org Petition
As previously reported Alison and Kevin Cooney started a petition to the Prime Minister Theresa May MP after their son Tom Cooney died at the age of 28. He was playing rugby when his heart stopped beating. The post mortem showed that he suffered from an undiagnosed genetic heart condition, Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. Between 10 and 12 young people aged 18-35 die every week from this and other undiagnosed heart problems. Often such deaths occur when playing competitive sports. Tom’s friends tried to give him CPR but it didn’t work. In cases like these CPR is only effective 6% of the time.
Below are some of the key statistics: Heart and circulatory disease causes more than a quarter (26 per cent) of all deaths in the UK; that’s nearly 160,000 deaths each year – an average of 435 people each day or one death every three minutes.
- There are around 7 million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK: 3.5 million men and 3.5 million women.
- Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of cardiovascular disease.
- Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of heart attack. In the UK there are 188,000 hospital visits each year due to heart attacks: that’s one every three minutes.
- An estimated 915,000 people alive in the UK today (640,000 men and 275,000 women) have survived a heart attack.
- Over half a million people in the UK are living with heart failure.
- There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year. The overall survival rate in the UK is less than 1 in 10.
Defibrillators or (AEDs – Automated External Defibrillators) are devices that can dramatically improve the chances of survival in this situation. Tom Cooney might still be alive today if there had been a defibrillator at the sports club he was playing at and this story is repeated many times over.
Survival rates as high as 75% have been reported where CPR and defibrillation are delivered promptly.
Some schools and sports grounds have taken it upon themselves to get a defibrillator, but there is nothing that makes it compulsory in law.
In 2017 a Bill was presented to Parliament which would have made Defibrillators compulsory in schools, leisure centres, sports centres and major public places, but due to the 2017 election the Defibrillator (Availability) Bill was tabled never became law.
To avoid other families going through the heartbreak of the loss of a loved one Tom’s parents, Alison and Kevin Cooney started a petition to introduce defibrillators in public places.
In line with CWU Conference Policy decisions calling for defibrillators to be installed in all workplaces, we have been supporting this petition and campaign.
So far 516,537 have signed the Petition.
Arrangements are being made to deliver the petition to Downing St. this coming Saturday, 23rd February at 11.30. This would have been Tom Cooney’s 30th birthday and it had been decided that it would be a good way to mark the occasion. The family have been overwhelmed at the amount of support received and have thanked the CWU amongst others for their support.
A Representative from the British Heart Foundation will be with Alison and Kevin Cooney along with the late Tom Cooney’s partner plus family and friends will be there. Hopefully there will be media interest also.
The next reading of the Defibrillator (Availability) Bill in the House of Commons is due on 15th March so the petition should give added support to the Bill.
There will be a short video on social media for supporters to see.
Please sign the petition at:- https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-cardiac-defibrillators-to-be-provided-in-all-public-places
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer