A new scientific advisory, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, calls for state legislatures to mandate that CPR and AED training be required for graduation- and You’re the Cure advocates in a number of states are helping to make it happen to help save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.
“Training of all secondary education students will add a million trained rescuers to the population every few years,” said Mary Fran Hazinski, R.N., M.S.N., co-author of the advisory and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn. “Those students will be ready, willing and able to act for many years to come, whenever they witness an emergency within the community.”
Last school year, 36 states had a law or curriculum standard encouraging CPR training in schools- and a number of states are pursuing legislation this year. In New York, for example, advocates, including paramedics, survivors, CRP instructors, and families of those affected by sudden cardiac arrest, are leading the charge to advance legislation that will ensure all students in the state receive CPR training prior to graduation. They have collected 1500 petition signatures so far and will be taking their message to the state capital in March to meet with lawmakers.
In Tennessee, advocates will be working with state lawmakers and the Department of Education to strengthen their existing law. Currently, CPR is taught as part of the lifetime wellness curriculum, but the AHA is pushing for hands-on-practice during this instruction for all students.
And in Iowa, advocates will be playing defense to protect their law which requires students to be trained in CPR before graduating. Some legislators, concerned with the time and cost the existing law requires, have suggested repealing it. However, the AHA is actively promoting the immeasurable benefits by sharing personal stories from students who have saved a life.
For more information on the new advisory, click here.