Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Urges Pennsylvania Senate to Support CPR in Schools Legislation

PITTSBURGH, PA--The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation urges the Pennsylvania Senate to vote in favor of SB 521, sponsored by PA Senator Tom Killion (R-9th). The legislation will ensure that high school students receive CPR training and learn about automated external defibrillators at least once before graduation, without placing any financial burden on schools or the Commonwealth. It has been approved by the State Education and Appropriations Committees and may go before the full Senate for a third and final vote as early as April 16th.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a life-threatening emergency that happens when the heart suddenly stops beating. It affects more than 356,000 people outside hospitals each year in the U.S., including 7,000 children. Unfortunately only one victim in 10 survives, but survival rates double or triple when victims receive immediate CPR. Incidence and survival rates in Pennsylvania reflect the national average.

To date, 38 states—including the states surrounding Pennsylvania—and the District of Columbia have enacted similar legislation.

“The CPR in Schools legislation, SB 521, is a common-sense way to prepare students with fundamental life skills,” said Mary Newman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation president. “We believe it’s time for Pennsylvania to join the national movement to create a new generation of lifesavers.”

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association PA Chapter, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross, PA Athletic Trainers Society, Inc., and PA Medical Society also support the legislation. The American Heart Association has advocated for similar legislation nationwide.

The Foundation urges PA residents to contact their Senators and ask them to support this lifesaving legislation.

See related blog from Dr. Victoria Vetter here.

See related letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review here.



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The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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