The Institute of Medicine recently issued a report that supports AHA’s focus on the importance of teaching CPR to as many people as possible. The report suggests that while 9 of 10 people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital die, survival rates could be improved dramatically with more CPR training, a nationwide registry, and other strategies. AHA CEO Nancy Brown said the strategies in the report support the association’s goal of doubling cardiac arrest survival, which will save an additional 50,000 cardiac arrest victims each year.
“We need novel and innovative approaches to improve survival at national, state and local levels,” Brown said in a statement. “That’s why we applaud the IOM for calling for a culture of action and for their unbiased and authoritative advice on critical health issues facing our country.”
While much has already been done in the critical areas of cardiac arrest survival, including CPR training in schools, AED deployment, dispatcher-assisted CPR, emphasis on high-quality CPR by EMS providers and post-cardiac care, more focus is needed to ensure victims of sudden cardiac arrest get the fastest and most appropriate care possible to improve survival rates.
States across the country are moving toward requiring CPR training as a high school graduation requirement. Training students in Hands Only CPR puts thousands of life-savers into our communities each and every year. The AHA strongly advocates for South Dakota to include CPR training in high school curriculum so that all students learn this life-saving skill prior to graduation. Learning this skill in high school can also spark their interest in emergency medicine, an area of critical need in South Dakota.
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