New law requires schools to teach CPR

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new law passed this year in Indiana means high schools are now required to teach CPR.

HEA 1290 requires school corporations and accredited nonpublic schools “include in the high school health education curriculum, instruction in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED.)”

According to the American Heart Association, about 20 states now require the training for high school curriculum.

“Our goal at the American Heart Association is to ensure that eight out of ten Americans are trained in CPR and one of the best ways to do that is by training students,” spokeswoman Danielle Patterson told 24-Hour News 8. “And we found that young people in times of emergency do not want to feel helpless. They want to feel like they can help out a loved one, a friend, a fellow student, they just want to be more involved in the emergency process.”

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S., killing 295,000 people each year. But health experts say the survival rate can double or even triple if that person gets CPR in the first few minutes.

The law requires hands-only CPR, not mouth-to-mouth.

“So as long as you can perform the compressions, it’s very easy to learn,” said Patterson. “It takes less than thirty minutes.”

Clinton County schools started the process Wednesday. The American Heart Association donated CPR training kits to every high school there thanks to a bequest to the American Heart Association to support its mission in Clinton County.

Patterson said other community groups are also donating kits to schools which don’t have them.

To learn CPR, including how to find a course near you, click here.

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