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Heading towards compulsory CPR training

Heading towards compulsory CPR training

By

March 14, 2013

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Like any subjects taught in high schools, CPR training will be beneficial for students. Knowing how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation will enable them to respond in a cardiac emergency. Most heart attack cases occur outside or away from the hospitals. In that case, CPR training can be a valuable lifesaving skill that they should learn. Read on to know more about CPR training and whether it should be mandated or not.

Heading Towards Compulsory CPR Training

Texas lawmakers, Rep. John Zerwas and Sen. Juan Hinojosa, have a bill HB 897/SB 261 proposed to make CPR training mandatory. With this action, a cardiac arrest victim would have three times more chances of survival as every teen would know the usage of Automated External Defibrillators.

Until now, efforts have been made, but these are done locally by non-government organizations like Living for Zachary, a memorial organization established by Karen Sarah, who lost her kid due to sudden cardiac arrest. They are trying to bring AEDs to schools and train students, but due to non-compulsory training, only a few take part in the training sessions.

Arguments given by American Heart Association are concrete, as they are key activists behind this legislation. Here are a few of them:

  • Maximum cardiac emergencies take place away from hospitals in which around 90% of victims face death due to insufficient use of CPR and AED.
  • A 30 minutes training is enough and can be an additional skill for students; they will survive in cardiac emergencies.
  • There is much flexibility in implementing CPR training; it could be easily fit in many classes, for instance, in the science class or PE or most suitably in the Health class for students between grades 7 to 12.

Importance of CPR training in School

Even though high school students are not the most at-risk demographic for cardiac emergencies, they can still be hit by this life-threatening situation. Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone at any time. While schools are equipped with clinics and have medically licensed staff, relying on just the clinic and its staff will not be sufficient in an emergency. Having teachers and students trained in CPR means that the responsibility is spread and that the school constituents are better covered in a medical emergency.

What is the minimum age to learn CPR?

The American Heart Association does not mandate a minimum age requirement for learning CPR. The ability to perform CPR is based more on body strength than age. However, studies have shown that children as young as nine years old can learn and retain CPR skills. 

Should CPR Training Be Mandatory in Schools?

The topic of mandating formal training in schools has been debated for years. There is no federal mandate for CPR and First Aid training in schools. However, most states require the student to have CPR training to graduate from high school. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 326,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests occur every year, and 88 percent of those occur at home. So why not make it compulsory for students to learn CPR? Increasing the number of trained people in CPR will increase the number of people likely to perform CPR in times of crisis. In addition, if CPR training is mandatory at school, many communities can increase the number of those who could potentially save lives.

There are specific CPR training program for both children and adults who work with children and infants. The CPR certification lasts for two years, and it can be easily obtained through CPR online courses.

States where CPR Training is Mandatory for Teachers

CPR training is not just becoming compulsory for students but teachers as well. The majority of states require teachers to learn CPR and First Aid. They are adding it to the teaching certificate curriculum as part of certification. Here is a list of known states where it is mandatory.

  • Alabama 
  • Alaska 
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Washington D.C
  • Illinois 
  • Indiana
  • Iowa 
  • Maryland
  • Michigan 
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Utah 
  • Vermont 
  • Virginia 
  • West Virginia

Importance of CPR training in the Community

Having CPR trained bystanders in the community can save lives. A civilian responder’s proper administration of CPR within the first few minutes of a heart-stopping tragedy can be the difference between life and death. If bystander CPR is administered soon after a victim has undergone cardiac arrest, the chance of survival will increase. CPR, especially in conjunction with AED training, is the best way to restore the normal heart rhythm after a cardiac arrest. 

Importance of CPR training in the Workplace

Employees are the greatest asset in any workplace. That’s why it’s essential for employers to do everything they can to create a healthy and safe working environment. While having an efficient human resources department will contribute to a productive workplace, investing in CPR and First Aid training for employees can be equally beneficial. Training employees to perform CPR provides them with a lifesaving skill that can be used when an emergency situation arises at work, at home, or in public. 

Is CPR Training Mandatory for Workplace?

If a workplace doesn’t have an infirmary, clinic, or hospital nearby, it is stated in the OSHA regulatory requirements that one or more staff members are recommended to be trained to provide CPR and first aid. While AED training is not specifically addressed or required by the OSHA standard, including AED in the CPR training is recommended. 

Texas State’s advocacy member of AHA, Dr. Amit Khera, who is also the director of UT Southwestern Preventive cardiology program, says,” Many people are alive today due to bystanders of all ages who were trained in CPR and willing to administer the lifesaving technique until emergency medical personnel could take over. By enacting HB 897/SB 261, Texas can create an entire generation of young adults who are not only proficient in CPR but are prepared to step in and help in an emergency situation. This legislation would require a simple, one-time 30 minute course to be implemented prior to graduation and in turn, will equip generations to come with the ability to save lives. An overwhelming 79% of Texans favor this training for high school students.”