June 27, 2013

Legislation Proposed to Fund CPR and AED Training in Schools

Congresswoman Lois Capps

Three cheers to Congresswoman Lois Capps of California’s 24th District for her proposed bill H.R. 2308. Her “Teaching Children to Save Lives Act” would:

“[D]irect the Secretary of Education to establish a program to provide grants for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator training in public elementary and secondary schools.”

According to a press release from Capps’s office:

“H.R. 2308 would provide support for schools and local education agencies to implement CPR and AED training programs. Schools could use these resources to train teachers and school officials as CPR and AED instructors or work in conjunction with community organizations, such as local fire and police departments, hospitals, parent-teacher associations and others to provide CPR and AED training. Resources could also be used to acquire AED machines and training materials.”    

In our May 22nd blog post, we shared the good news about Washington state’s Substitute House Bill 1556 requiring all high school students to receive CPR training as part of their health classes. It’s very exciting to see legislation now pending on the federal level.

We’ll keep you posted as the bill moves through the legislative process. Remember, you can always check out the regulations in your state by logging into Otis.

More than 360,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) per year and tragically the numbers are growing.

More than 360,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) per year and tragically the numbers are growing. If this bill is enacted and more people learn the easy lifesaving technique of CPR and timely AED intervention, hopefully the number of survival rates from SCA will increase.

Sudden cardiac arrest happens when the normal electrical impulses in the heart unexpectedly become disorganized. The normally coordinated mechanical contraction of the heart muscle is lost, and a chaotic, quivering condition known as ventricular fibrillation can occur.  Blood flow to the brain and body abruptly stops. The lack of blood and oxygen to the brain causes the person to quickly lose consciousness, collapse, and stop breathing. Brain tissue is especially sensitive to a lack of oxygen. When oxygen is cut off, brain death can occur quickly, within a matter of minutes. Without early recognition and care from a bystander, the person will not survive.

By itself, CPR is only a temporary measure that can buy time until a more advanced care can be provided. The most effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation is defibrillation.

Chance of survival is increased with the use of an AED. Successful defibrillation is often dependent on how quickly a person defibrillated. For each minute a person in in cardiac arrest his/her chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. After as little as 10 minutes, defibrillation is rarely successful.

Watch this space for further news on the pending legislation. Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet taken a CPR class or just need to refresh your skills, visit our “Find a class near you” search tool.

Find A Class, ASHI, MEDIC First Aid

Curious about compression-only CPR? Check out our Push Here to Save a Life public service announcement.



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