Submitted by SCAFoundation on Mon, 06/08/2015 - 4:34pm

The number of U.S. states mandating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training as a requirement for graduation from high school is rapidly increasing. Such requisite CPR training in high school now involves 21 states and more than one million high school students annually. Although students may opt out, parental consent is required to do so, compelling the majority of high school students to learn the basic techniques of CPR. We believe this widespread implementation of CPR training has many benefits to high school students and the broader U.S. public. High school students are well-positioned to improve rates of bystander CPR initiation in the United States, and their engagement could reduce deep disparities in regional rates of survival of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest through early initiation of bystander CPR. Imagine what could happen if CPR training was required in all of the more than 37,000 high schools in the United States.

States With a Law Requiring CPR Training Before High School Graduation
State Year/school year put into effect
Alabama 1984
Arkansas 2014-2015
Delaware 2014-2015
Georgia 2013-2014
Idaho 2015-2016
Illinois 2014-2015
Iowa 2008
Louisiana 2014-2015
Maryland 2014-2015
Minnesota 2014-2015
Mississippi 2014
New Jersey 2014-2015
North Carolina 2014-2015
Oklahoma 2015-2016
Rhode Island 2013
Tennessee 2012
Texas 2014-2015
Utah 2014-2015
Vermont 2012
Virginia 2016-2017
Washington 2014-2015
Only about one in three witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests involve early bystander CPR initiation. It is often assumed that the fear of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is the major barrier to bystanders performing CPR, but panic and discomfort of the bystander are in fact the most common reasons why CPR is not initiated during a witnessed cardiac arrest. A bystander trained in CPR is the strongest predictor of a victim receiving CPR, stronger than a public location of the cardiac arrest, a bystander-witnessed event, and the bystander’s overall educational level. Although not proven, it is likely that bystanders trained in CPR are more likely to act and act competently, for example, with the appropriate depth of chest compressions and with less hesitation. More...
SCA Foundation Note: According to the American Heart Association, 22 states require CPR training for graduation, including those above and Indiana and West Virginia. The AHA list does not include Illinois.
SOURCE: Mayo Clinic Proceedings