Sometimes you just need a lifesaver. Quickly. The American Heart Association is creating a generation of lifesavers by making sure students learn CPR before they graduate from high school. The goal is to teach lifesaving CPR skills to as many teens and young adults as possible in every state to help keep our communities safer. Having a new generation of lifesavers will benefit everyone. We have heard many stories about emergency situations where bystanders do not know what to do, but a CPR-trained person is the one to remain calm and save a person’s life.
The need is dire. Nearly 424,000 people have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 10.4% survive, often because they don’t receive timely CPR. Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates. Teaching students CPR could save thousands of lives by filling our communities with those trained to give sudden cardiac arrest victims the immediate help they need to survive until EMTs arrive. Almost 90 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die, most likely because they don’t get CPR treatment within the first few precious minutes.
Sudden cardiac arrest can happen any place, at any time. If you suffer sudden cardiac arrest, your best chance at survival is receiving bystander CPR until EMTs arrive. Teaching students CPR before they graduate puts thousands of qualified lifesavers on our streets every year.
In less than 30-minutes, students can learn the skills they need to help save someone’s life with CPR. With a short time investment, today’s students will become tomorrow’s lifesavers. Everyone benefits from having more lifesavers in our community.
Here in The American Heart Association’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, You’re the Cure advocates have helped us make great progress on this goal, by telling their legislators all students should be trained in CPR before they graduate:
DC: We’re working on it… DC City Council is looking at establishing emergency medical response plans and training in DC schools. AHA, through You’re the Cure, is working with the committee to include student training requirements for graduation. CPR training in DC schools would prepare roughly 3500 students annually to save a life. If you live in DC, watch your inbox for action opportunities to support this effort as it unfolds.
MD: We did that! Breanna’s Bill passed just this year and will soon become a reality for MD students. If you live in MD, take a moment to Thank Your Legislators for this big win. Because of CPR training in MD schools, there will be over 58,000 new lifesavers in MD communities every year.
NC: We did that! We passed HB 837 in 2012 and its implementation is well under way. Because of CPR training in NC schools, there will be close to 87,000 new lifesavers in NC communities every year.
SC: The SC General Assembly adjourned without passing CPR in Schools, but we will introduce next year. When we get this bill passed there will be over 39,000 new lifesavers in SC communities every year.
VA: We did that! Gwyneth’s Law passed just last year and is in implementation stages now. Because of CPR training in VA schools, there will be over 79,500 new lifesavers in VA communities every year.
Thanks to You’re the Cure advocate Karen Wiggins, LPN, CHWC, for developing this blog post!