Texas is one of 18 states now requiring CPR training before high school graduation
This school year, Texas will be among 18 states requiring all high school students to complete a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course before graduation – meaning nearly 300,000 more people per year in Texas will know this lifesaving skill. Nationwide, more than one million high school seniors every year will be equipped with the ability to perform bystander CPR thanks to these new laws.
About 92 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital, but statistics prove that if more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved. Immediate CPR can double, or even triple, a victim’s chance of survival. Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed.
The American Heart Association has worked closely with state legislators in Texas and 17 other states to pass laws that will require high school seniors to have completed basic CPR training before they graduate. The intent of the law is for students in grades 7-12 to be trained in CPR with hands-on practice and be exposed to the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), but does not require either the facilitator or students to be certified in CPR or AED use. The training is a one-time event, taking approximately 30 minutes to complete, sometime in a student’s high school career.
As CPR has evolved, it has become both easier and affordable. Schools have training options and are encouraged to select an approach that works best for them.
Why Learn CPR?
Cardiac arrests happen frequently and can happen to anyone at any time.
- Nearly 424,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually; less than 11 percent of victims survive.
- Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
- Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.
- Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
- A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, including our schools. When these situations arise, many people don’t know what to do. Now, students in Texas are getting empowered to act, and save lives. The American Heart Association trains more than 12 million people in CPR annually to equip Americans with the skills they need to perform bystander CPR. By offering this training in schools, the American Heart Association helps ensure that millions more are trained each year. For more information about CPR in schools and the American Heart Association, visit www.heart.org/cprinschools.
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Director of Communications, Capital Area Division