DC Council Approves Lifesaving Hands-Only CPR in Schools Bill

WASHINGTON, DC--Students in the District of Columbia will learn Hands Only CPR in high school health classes, beginning in October. The DC Council included the CPR training language in the 2017 Budget Support Act, which also requires an automated external defibrillator at all schools in the District. In May, the Council appropriated $325,000 to purchase AEDs.

Every hour in the U.S. approximately 38 people will have a cardiac arrest event outside of the hospital – more than 326.000 each year. Nine out of ten people will not survive. However, if lifesaving CPR is performed, a victim’s chance of surviving can double, or even triple. This essential life skill will be incorporated into the high school health education curriculum and will ultimately benefit countless families by increasing the number of people with CPR proficiency. In DC, over 3,000 students graduate from public and charter high schools every year – that is 3,000 lifesavers.

Washington, DC would become the 35th state to require hands-only CPR training in high school, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia—all of which require CPR be taught to students in middle or high school.

Kenyan McDuffie is the force behind the legislation, which also calls for setting up CPR training for employees in D.C. public and charter schools, in District Parks and Recreation Facilities and in all other District government buildings. Automated external defibrillators “help save lives,” he said, “and we should make sure they are available wherever people congregate in D.C.”

SOURCE: Kenyan McDuffie, D.C. Councilmember Ward 5

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