Saving someone’s life…how would that impact you? Are you capable of becoming a lifesaver? The answer could be as simple as learning Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Although the scientific term may sound intimidating, it is a simple life-saving measure that can be learned in less than 30 minutes. If our students are taught CPR in school they could become the next generation of lifesavers.
Sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any time, and in any place. Over 326,000 people in the US suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every year, including 550 in Washington, DC alone. Less than 10% survive, often because they don’t receive timely CPR from a bystander. For every minute that someone is down from cardiac arrest, their chance for survival drops 10%.
We can change this! To improve cardiac arrest survival in the District, legislation has been introduced in DC Council that would place at least 1 AED in all schools. Although AED’s are a vital asset in case of an emergency, they are not enough by themselves.
Receiving CPR from a bystander can triple someone’s rate of survival. Sadly less than 30% of victims receive CPR from a bystander. Training all our residents, especially high school students is essential to improving the chain of survival.
Many might think that learning a lifesaving skill like CPR requires a lot of time. However, hands-only CPR training can be taught in under 30 minutes - less than the time it takes to watch a sitcom on TV!
Ensuring that all students are CPR-trained would result in thousands of potential lifesavers in the District each year – ready and able to perform CPR at school, at home, and in the community. 24 states have laws ensuring that all students receive hands-only CPR training prior to graduation. It’s time for Washington, DC to join Maryland, Virginia, and nearly half the country in creating a culture of health and ensuring that every student can be a lifesaver.
We must spread the message NOW – the bill is about to be heard by DC Council!
<Thanks to AHA You’re the Cure intern Lauren Spencer for help developing this blog post>