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South Dakota Legislature to Consider CPR in Schools


A bill before the South Dakota legislature will get its first committee hearing on February 10th.  Senate Bill 145 would require that all students receive Hands Only CPR instruction prior to high school graduation.  The training would also include how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).  The bill has the potential to train 11,000 students every year statewide.  Many of these students are located in very rural communities and homes which have much longer EMS wait times than the state average of ten minutes.  Irreversible brain damage occurs after only 3 minutes of being deprived of oxygen and irreversible heart damage occurs within 20 minutes of being deprived of oxygen.  Less than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive to make it home from the hospital.  Training students in this life-saving skill takes only 30 minutes, and the chances are that if a student ever has to use hands only CPR, it's going to be on someone they know and love.  Testimony before the Senate committee will include survivors of sudden cardiac arrest, students interested in learning the life-saving skill of CPR, emergency medical responders and a parent who lost her son to sudden cardiac arrest.

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