Utah has become the 18th state to require high school students to take CPR training, adding to the more than one million graduates who will be equipped with this lifesaving skill every year.
Gov. Gary Herbert signed legislation into law in April that allocated $200,000 a year for hands-on CPR and automated external defibrillator training in high schools. A new provision of the legislation, formalized this month, requires students to receive CPR and AED training in 10th grade health class beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. That means nearly 35,000 sophomores will learn CPR every year.
“You don’t have to be a paramedic or doctor or even an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association employee to take part in saving someone’s life. All you need to have is a desire to help and make a difference,” said Marc Watterson, the American Heart Association’s director of government relations for Utah. “Because of the work of the AHA, a whole generation of lifesavers will be walking through our communities, prepared to step in at a moment’s notice to try and save a life.”
The American Heart Association encouraged lawmakers to include the training requirement, and worked closely with the Utah Department of Health, the State Office of Education, and the Utah Parent Teachers Association.
The AHA is collaborating with similar organizations nationwide to push for laws requiring CPR and automated external defibrillator training in high school.
Bystander CPR can double or triple survival rates from cardiac arrest. However, many people do not get help from bystanders who could provide CPR if they knew how.
“They often say that real superheroes don’t wear capes, they just do the difficult, extraordinary things that the average person does not,” Watterson said. “With this recent policy victory, Utah took the first steps to creating 35,000 new superheroes in our community each year.”
Of the roughly 424,000 Americans who have a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital each year, only 40 percent get CPR from a bystander and only about 10 percent survive. Most people don’t know how to use AEDs, which deliver an electric shock to stop cardiac arrest, although they’re becoming more widely available.
Utah joins 17 other states with CPR graduation laws: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Photos provided by Cassie Watterson.
For more information:
Stories appearing on blog.heart.org under the "By American Heart Association News" byline are available for linking, quoting, excerpting and reprinting. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association. Additional conditions may apply to the use of these stories in printed materials.
American Heart Association additional conditions for linking, quoting, excerpting, reprinting stories in print media
- A credit line of American Heart Association News must be prominently placed on the page in which the American Heart Association materials appear.
- The American Heart Association logo and service marks may only be used if they appear on the materials requested.
- Stories reprinted may be edited for length, but no other deletions, alterations or other changes may be made without the prior written consent of the American Heart Association.
- Artwork labeled "American Heart Association" may be reprinted, but other artwork may not. For artwork permission questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stories reprinted may not be placed adjacent to any advertisement, photo, graphic or other content that could be considered inappropriate by the American Heart Association. For questions about whether content is inappropriate, contact email@example.com.
- Stories may not be displayed in any way that gives the appearance that the American Heart Association endorses (implied or otherwise) or is affiliated with any product, service or company.