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Editorial: Mandate CPR in high school

Sunday, June 8, 2014
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If one day you found yourself having a heart attack, and the only thing between you and the Grim Reaper was a gangly teenager with bad skin, you'd be glad the state made CPR training mandatory for all high school students.

Under a bill making its way through the state Legislature (A.9298/S.7096), students would have to be trained in CPR and in how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), a device that can help restart hearts.

School isn't just there to train kids in the three R's. It's also there to prepare them for life.

The requirement wouldn't take the place of any other studies. It could be taught as part of existing health or physical education classes. The training is a lot simpler than the old days, relying more on chest compressions and less on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. And equipment could be borrowed from the Red Cross or local emergency squads, or purchased with grants and donations.

About 300,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside hospitals each year. CPR administered on the scene can double or triple the chances of survival.

Let's give kids a skill that will serve them for a lifetime, and one we hope they'll never have to use.

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June 8, 2014
3:09 p.m.
+0 votes
kopacham says...

This is such an excellent idea (or mandate) and would cost nearly nothing and can be done in conjunction with gym or health classes. Save one person and your personal reward is immeasurable. I am a 1st responder where I work and 2-1/2 years ago I got that call that a fellow worker was down and my CPR skills were brought into full use. Clearly a couple minutes passed before the AED was available and in the mean time I got 120 compressions in before the AED shocked the individual into a rhythm and he began breathing. Retired now and having and enjoying his wife and grandchildren. After 36 years with the company, I would consider that was my greatest achievement.


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