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.