School children get lifesaving lesson in ‘heart health’ for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2015

Philips supports national launch of community defibrillator programme designed to teach CPR as a basic life skill


London, UK – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) For millions of people across the UK the words 'Valentine's' and 'heart' are synonymous with romance, but for students at the Robert Smyth Academy in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, the association took on a whole new meaning this week with a lesson in the potentially life-saving skill of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


Following the recent award of a contract to Philips to provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to schools across the UK, this lesson marked the start of a new nationwide community defibrillator programme being rolled-out in support. The programme is designed to underline how, regardless of age, anyone has the potential to become a lifesaver, leading the way to save a life just by using simple-to-learn techniques and with access to a community defibrillator device.


Commenting after a successful training session at The Academy, Health and Wellbeing Officer, Angela Sippits said: "For some, the idea of resuscitation can seem like a scary prospect, so we're eager to show the students that it’s actually quite simple. This programme does exactly that, giving students both the training and confidence needed to become potential lifesavers of the future."



Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and undiagnosed heart conditions impact as many as 12 young people each week[1] and can have fatal consequences. The defibrillator programme shows people of all ages how simple it can be to save lives. Currently, four-fifths of people who sustain out of hospital cardiac arrests don’t receive any bystander CPR, resulting in poor survival rates.[2]


The defibrillator programme, which will initially provide 500 Philips HeartStart FRx Defibrillator school-package units through the NHS Supply Chain Framework Agreement, is designed to reduce accessibility barriers of using defibrillators. The Philips HeartStart FRx AED devices come with a Life Guidance application built in, a programme that talks the user through every step of the process in an emergency cardiac incident requiring CPR and resuscitation. There is also an informative phone and tablet IOS and Android application for ‘hands off’ familiarisation.


Neil Mesher, Managing Director at Philips Healthcare UK&I said; "At Philips we’re about innovations that not only improve lives, but save lives. When a sudden cardiac arrest strikes every second counts, so not only do we need to see access to defibrillators improved but we also want to see people starting to feel more confident and capable in using them – potentially saving both time and more importantly saving lives. That’s why this community defibrillator programme is so important, and why it's so great to see it successfully kick-off in Leicestershire this week. We believe that defibrillators should be as widely available as first aid kits; in every school, sports club, business and public building in the UK".


[1] Cardiac Risk in the Young, ‘CRY consolidates services ‘under one roof’, available at:, accessed February 2015


[2] NHS England Factsheet, ‘Increase bystander  initiated CPR by increasing proportion of population trained in CPR from 3.8m people to 5 million nationally, available at:, accessed February 2015




Notes to editors

  • The Philips HeartStart FRx Defibrillator school package includes: HeartStart FRx Defibrillator and carry case including infant/child key


  • Philips educational on-line tools on CPR and Defibrillation are available at



For further information, please contact:

Barbara Neate

Philips Healthcare

Tel: + 44 (0) 1483 293 071



About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 105,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at