CPR & AED Training in Schools – Why We Do It
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – While sudden unanticipated death due to cardiac arrest is always tragic, it seems to strike a much more sensitive cord when the victim is a child or young adult. Many of these deaths have been attributed to an undetected congenital heart which presented itself for the first time when the victim was engaged in physical exertion during some kind of athletic competition or training. In recent years a growing number of state legislatures have taken action to protect our children from sudden cardiac arrest by passing laws requiring AED placement in schools and athletic facilities where school activities are conducted and AED/CPR training of school personnel.
Sadly, most of these laws have been introduced following the death of a student participating in an athletic event and the publicity generated by this tragedy. But thanks mainly to the grass roots efforts of local parent groups, community organizations and national organizations such as The American Heart Association and The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation the number of states enacting some sort of law mandating AEDs and CPR training in schools has and continues to grow. Just last month New Jersey became the 20th state to pass legislation requiring AED placement and CPR training of school personnel in every public and private high school in the state.
Other states, like California, while not successful in passing mandatory AEDs in schools laws, (due, we are told, to fiscal constraints) have enacted Resolutions encouraging school districts to acquire AEDs and train their personnel. And in an effort to minimize possible liability concerns, the legislature just this month passed a bill authorizing school districts to solicit and receive non-state funds to acquire and maintain AEDs and provided Good Samaritan protection to school districts and school employees.
Another effort which has gained momentum in the past couple of years is mandatory CPR and AED training of high school students. Most of these laws require this training for high school graduation. Six states passed mandatory CPR laws just this year, bringing the state total to 18. By the end of the 2014-2015 school year over one million high school graduates will be trained.
That’s one million men and women having grown up with AEDs in their schools, entering college and the workplace every year (and growing) not only trained in how to react to a cardiac emergency, but recognizing the life saving benefits of early CPR and public access AED availability.
Something to think about.