A student in Illinois saved his father's life by performing CPR until the paramedics arrived, using the skills he learned in a high school health class. That encounter helped spark the state to enact legislation compelling all high school students to get trained on how to operate mobile defibrillators and to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Across the country there is a movement to put CPR training in the classroom -- requiring that all high schoolers learn the skill before they can graduate. As of last year, 39 states had approved measures that would do just that. Is this the right way to go? Do you think this kind of policy is something that should be implemented nationwide?
It's already happened overseas. U.K. Chief executive of the St. John Ambulance Martin Houghton-Brown praised his country's efforts: "Lives will be saved, and young people will benefit from developing skills that will build their character and strengthen community resilience."
Sudden cardiac arrest is a common problem, even if it's not often seen in younger people. High school seniors are unlikely to need the skill among a group of their own peers; but it could make a huge difference for a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle.
It seems like such an easy question to answer -- so why would someone be skeptical of teaching young people this life-saving skill? U.S. News spoke with experts who answered some of the more common questions people had about the CPR requirement. Here are a few examples:
1. Are teenagers strong enough to perform CPR?
The answer to this one is a strong "yes." Most high schoolers are close to adult size anyways. They have the physical size, strength, and ability to perform chest compressions reliably.
2. How long does the instruction take?
This depends on which skills are being taught. It can range by school, but it's typically no more than a few hours in total. Most often, these skills are taught in health class or P.E. Students are commonly taught hands-only CPR without mouth-to-mouth breathing. This is recommended by the AHA for people who aren't health care providers.
3. What happens if you perform CPR on someone incorrectly?
Some people, especially students, may feel nervous or inadequate about their ability to perform CPR. Fortunately, most states have good Samaritan laws that protect people who have offered aid voluntarily in an emergency. Dr. Dianne Atkins, who works with the American Heart Association, said that it is important to remember that the person suffering cardiac arrest has died and that nothing the bystander does can make the situation worse. "Any effort to deliver CPR is better than none," she said.
CPR training isn't just for high schoolers. Whether you are someone learning it for the first time, a business interested in training for your staff, or a paramedic practicing CPR skills for your EMT exam, CPR Savers has you covered, offering a wide range of safety training classes and all the necessary supplies to fit your needs -- from professional quality training tools to household emergency supplies.
CPR Savers hosts a public training class on CPR (adult, child, infant), AED, and first aid every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at our Tempe location. These classes are led by one of our certified trainers and come with a two-year certification of training.
Price per person is just $49.95 and there is no minimum attendance required. Price includes complementary coffee, along with a free CPR Savers keychain with face shield.
Classes are hosted at 2328 W. Campus Dr. Tempe, AZ 85282.
Call 1-800-480-1277 or click here for more details!