Under a new bill proposal in Maine by legislators and members of the American Heart Association, high schools would be required to offer CPR instruction to students. Under bill LD 556, high school students would be offered hands-only CPR training to react in the event of a cardiac emergency. With 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims receiving CPR from a bystander, this training would potentially save lives by doubling the chances of survival. As the American Heart Association encourages bystanders to take action, with this training, students will gain the confidence and skills needed to respond in the event of an emergency.
Should the bill pass, Maine will join 21 other states that have passed similar bills. LD 556’s sponsor, Rep. Matt Pouliot, says the passing of the bill will provide a strong generation of lifesavers in Maine. Legislators, the American Heart Association, and community members urge lawmakers to support LD 556 in an effort to begin increasing the community’s potential for saving lives.
With 88 percent of cardiac arrests happening in the home, students who receive this training have the potential to save the life of a child, parent, friend, or even a bystander. The quicker CPR is administered in the event of an emergency, the greater the chance of survival. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that the survival of a sudden cardiac arrest generally relies on the victim receiving CPR within the first 5 minutes.
As 70 percent of Americans report to not have the skills needed to respond in an emergency cardiac situation, lack of this knowledge can lead to unnecessary deaths. But, with the passing of the bill, students will receive the hands-on training in just 20 minutes. Since less than 8 percent of cardiac victims survive outside of the hospital, equipping the next generation with the lifesaving skills can drastically lower death rates from cardiac emergencies.