The American Heart Association is advocating to create future generations of lifesavers by teaching evidence-based, hands-on CPR to students before they graduate by adding these types of trainings to classes that are already required for graduation. Ninety percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. Schools prepare students with essential life skills. By adding CPR training in an effort to make the lifesaving skill a normative behavior in response to cardiac events, schools play a critical role in the chain of survival.
Twenty one states in the nation have passed this bill, including all states in the American Heart Association’s Greater Southeast Affiliate (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee), with the exception of Florida. There are no certification requirements for this training; in just one hour of students’ four year high school career, we can give them the skills they need to help save lives – the lives of families, neighbors and friends. The bill language also allows the schools to be flexible to determine which part of its curriculum the training best fits: health, biology, life skills, PE etc. Students can learn these life-saving skills in the time it takes to watch one TV show.
-Ninety percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
-Nearly 424,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States.
-Most Americans (70 percent) feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim.
-80 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in private or residential settings. Statistically speaking, if you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.
-Several studies have shown that trainees, including school children, can achieve acceptable levels of proficiency in hands-on CPR in 30 minutes or less.
-When a teen or adult has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Survival rates drop as much as 10 percent for every minute that goes by without intervention.
-Hands-on CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.
-Unfortunately, only 41 percent of people who experience a cardiac arrest at home, work or in public get the immediate help that they need before emergency help arrives.