Legislation is pending to make CPR training a graduation requirement for high school students across New York State.
If the bill is passed, "hands only CPR," touted by advocates as easy to learn and life-saving, will become a mandatory skill for high schoolers to learn, and will include lessons regarding the use of automated defibrillators (AEDs).
Sixteen states, including Vermont and Rhode Island, have already implemented mandatory CPR training in schools. Approximately 5,920 minors suffer cardiac arrest each year, brought on by a variety of causes including trauma, cardiovascular causes and sudden infant death syndrome.
"We need the CPR in Schools bill passed so that parents can watch their children grow up," said Suzy McCarthy at a rally the American Heart Association held near the Capitol on Tuesday. McCarthy lost her daughter, Madison, to sudden cardiac arrest 13 years ago, when Madison was five.
According to The American Heart Association, the leader in CPR programs, cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Sudden cardiac arrest can afflict anyone at any time, and EMS treats nearly 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every year, according to a memo accompanying the proposed bill. Effective bystander CPR has been proven to double or triple a victim's chance of survival if administered soon enough, the memo adds.
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