Pennsylvania Needs to Adopt CPR Legislation

Over 326,000 sudden cardiac arrests happen every year, most outside of a hospital.  If CPR is administered immediately, chances of survival greatly improves.  Unfortunately, many bystanders don’t know CPR or are afraid to respond.  The American Heart Association has a simple solution that will bring more lifesavers into the community: our students.

hero_image_alt_text===Children learning CPR
thumbnail_alt_text===Children learning CPR

Saving more lives means more people need to be trained.  One way to provide universal training at an early age is to ensure high school students learn CPR.  In fact, many students have saved family, friends, and even teachers using the skills they learned in school.

Hands-only CPR is not taught in all Pennsylvania schools, but it should be.  Across the country, 35 states have recognized the importance of this issue and enacted laws – most within the last five years – to ensure students are taught the most recent CPR techniques.  Of particular note, all the states surrounding Pennsylvania have laws, including nearly all states in the eastern U.S.  We want Pennsylvania to be #36!

Legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks by Senator Tom Killion and Representative Stephen Barrar that will make certain students learn CPR.  This legislation will provide schools with flexibility to implement the hands-only instruction in a way that makes sense for them, but most importantly, it will bring 130,000 capable, confident, and prepared lifesavers into our communities each year.  

February is Heart Month.  What better way to bring heart health awareness to the public than by training our students this important life skill.  Let’s empower high school students to save a life.  Help us pass this legislation!

You can find more information on the “CPR in Schools” initiative by going to the American Heart Association’s Action Center at

William Hite headshot



   William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D.
   Superintendent, The School District of Philadelphia
   Board Member, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Southeastern Pennsylvania



Stephanie Austin Headshot



   Stephanie Austin
   Board Member, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Southeastern Pennsylvania
   Saved by CPR

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