Victory in Washington! In February, we wrote about Washington’s Bill. Starting with the graduating class of 2017, the State of Washington has made learning CPR a mandatory requirement before graduating from high school. This is very exciting, as the number of people in Washington who are equipped with the skills to save lives will increase dramatically.
Would you know what to do if someone were to have a cardiac arrest in front of you? What would you do? If you’re following the directions of Mr. Bean, you might not be very successful, but it sure is a good look at what not to do. It also serves as a good reminder that you should learn how to do CPR properly.
Senator Bill Avery, from Nebraska, has introduced Legislative Bill 365, which would require all high school students to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation before graduating high school.
The current text of the bill says:
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, each student enrolled in a public high school in Nebraska, as a requirement for graduation, shall complete an instructional program established by the American Heart Association, American Heart Cross, or another nationally recognized program which uses the most evidence-based guidelines on basic first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and operation of an automated external defibrillator and successfully pass a written test on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and operation of an automated external defibrillator.
You can read the full, current version, of the bill here: LB365. (Which was introduced on January 18, 2013.)
This video was part of a campaign in the U.K. to get more people to learn CPR. I watched it a while back and thought it was a powerful look at what it would be like to have a heart attack. The video is from the point of view of the person experiencing it, with a guy explaining just what is happening.
I hope that you find it as powerful as I do, and that it illustrates the importance of learning CPR.
Gwyneth’s Law (House Bill 2028/Senate Bill 986) will help to train an ever-growing group of citizens in Virginia that will be ready and able to do CPR. According to the bills:
The Board of Education shall include in the Standards of Learning for health instruction in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an automated external defibrillator, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Such instruction shall be based on the current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. No teacher who is in compliance with subdivision D 4 of § 22.1-298.1 shall be required to be certified as a trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to provide instruction for non-certification.
Beginning with first-time ninth grade students in the 2016-2017 school year, requirements for the standard and advanced diplomas shall include a requirement to be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The Board shall make provision in its regulations for students with disabilities to earn a standard diploma.
The law was nicknamed for Gwyneth Griffin. It came about after the death last summer of 12-year-old Gwyneth Griffin. Born with a heart defect, she went into cardiac arrest at A.G. Wright Middle School in Stafford. She got no CPR or first aid until rescue crews arrived nearly 10 minutes later.
Gwyneth died not from the cardiac arrest, but from the lack of oxygen to her brain while she waited for help.
We went out to Blaine High School, in Blaine, Minnesota, to talk to the teachers there about our free CPR program for high school students. Minnesota recently made CPR a mandatory requirement for graduation from high school. We set out to make sure that schools have a way to do CPR classes that is affordable and saves time. Since our course is free, it’s affordable. It also takes about a week or so, depending on a variety of factors, so it doesn’t take too much class time. The students enjoy it, from our conversations with them. The teachers enjoy the level of interactivity, the ease of use, and the instant feedback on where their students are in the process.
Here is a look at what three teachers had to say about our program. We hope that it helps you to make a more informed decision about bringing CPR training to your school.
It’s a growing trend that I can see continuing to spread through all fifty states. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training is fast becoming a required skill to learn prior to graduation from high school. It’s already a requirement in seven states, with at least three more getting close to joining that list.
Here in Michigan, we have many schools using our free Student CPR program to train their students with this life-saving skill.
This week I was doing some research and learned that Farmington Public Schools is possibly going to add CPR to their curriculum beginning in 2014. It would be added to the 9th grade health class.
Dr. Ken Massey, a Farmington Hills city council member, has been working on making it a requirement for nearly six years. He “cited statistics from King County in Washington, where a concerted effort to train all citizens in CPR increased the out-of-hospital survival rate to 20 percent. If the cardiac event was witnessed by someone who knew CPR, the survival rate climbed to 49 percent.” (via)
Already a mandatory program in seven states, there are now three more states that are in the process of making CPR a requirement for high school graduation.
In Washington, House Bill 1556 is heading to the house floor after passing through House Education and Sub Appropriations on Education Committees.
The bill they are currently trying to pass doesn’t require a certification, or a specific type of course. It will be up to the schools as to how they want to implement a CPR program. In some schools, teachers do the trainings. Sometimes they bring in firefighters or EMS. Other times they bring in non-profits, or other training groups.
Should the bill pass, CPR implementation will begin in the fall of 2013, starting in September. Schools will likely be looking for a program to use this summer, so they can be ready to start the program when the school year begins.
Why people wouldn’t want high school students trained in CPR, I’ll never understand. Especially when you hear stories like this. Schuyler LaRue, a Heritage High School junior from Maryville, Tennessee, had CPR training when he became a lifeguard.
It was at a state tournament that his CPR skills were put to the test. Kingsport, Tennessee resident Ron Bussey, 68, collapsed in the restroom prior to the start of the tournament.
“I had actually been in (the restroom), left, and thought I needed to go back,” said LaRue, who is in the 182-pound weight class. “I was in there and an elderly gentleman passed out. I saw him and thought he was stumbling, and he fell and hit his head. I got him in a neutral position and started doing compressions and just did what I needed to do. His pulse went in and out, and I just kept going until someone came in and tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘I’m an (EMT).’”