On April 21st, Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law that requires all South Carolina students to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a news release from the American Heart Association.
The bill requires that students learn hands-on CPR as part of the high school health education curriculum. South Carolina is now the 30th state to require hands-on CPR is taught to students in middle or high school.
The American Heart Association applauds the bill saying “far too many people die suddenly from cardiac arrest who might have been saved, if only those around them were trained to administer CPR” in its release.
Nearly 424,000 people have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 10.4 percent survive, according to the association. When administered right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates.
In Beaufort County, several of our fire departments are certified as Advanced Life Support medical providers, meaning they provide paramedic services and cardiac medications and treatment, and are advocates for public CPR training and early intervention by bystanders. Recently, a Burton off-duty firefighter administered CPR to a woman who had collapsed in a department store. The patient lived due mostly to the fact that the system worked: bystander CPR, fire department response, EMS response, followed by a quick transport to the hospital. Having all students trained in CPR will make the likelihood of having a bystander with the appropriate knowledge much greater.