Pass a law requiring students to know CPR

December 15, 2012 

I was happy to see The Olympian’s article “Keeping a beat to save lives” last week. On the same day I was volunteering with the American Heart Association to help educate legislators about the importance of CPR.

In March 2007, at the age of 37, I survived a hemorrhagic stroke, because my husband recognized my symptoms. Now I’m a Go Red for Women Ambassador and volunteer my time educating others on heart disease and stroke in order to save lives.

Most cardiac arrests happen at home and most victims do not survive, nationally the chance of survival is only 8 percent. If we are going to boost survival rates, we need to train many more people in life-saving CPR.

In the 2013 session, the AHA and partner organizations will work to pass legislation ensuring that all high school students learn CPR before they graduate. This would result in thousands of new lay responders every year ready to save a life. With the AHA’s Hands-Only CPR, students can learn in 30 minutes or less – not a lot to fit in four years. Schools could work with local rescue or community organizations.

In comparison to lives saved, the cost really can’t be measured.

karen dionne


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