Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. Every year in the United States, emergency medical personnel treat almost 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests – that’s more than 1,000 a day. Currently, less than 12 percent of victims survive, but we’re fighting back.
When someone nearby provides effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, a victim’s chance of survival can double or triple, but only 41 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
So, how do we fill our communities with people trained in CPR and increase the survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest?
The American Heart Association recommends that CPR training, including hands-on skills practice, be a requirement for graduation from high school. 12 states now require this type of rigorous CPR training before graduation, and efforts are underway to bring the other 38 states on board.
Learning this life-saving skill takes less than 30 minutes, and we know it works: Pierson High School in Sag Harbor, NY began its CPR program in 1994. Amazingly, 16 lives have been saved so far because these students used their CPR skills in the real world!
If the children from one school can save 16 lives, imagine how many lives we could save if all students learned CPR before graduation.
To learn more and pledge your support for training every high-schooler in CPR before graduation, visit www.becprsmart.org today.