Cardiac arrest kills more than 360,000 people in our country every year. In 2001, my husband was one of them.
Joel Drillings was only 56 years old when he died from cardiac arrest at his local health club. No one did CPR before EMS arrived with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). CPR is important because it keeps blood and oxygen circulating to the brain before an AED is used to restart the heart.
Nationally the cardiac arrest survival rate is less than 10 percent. However, if given quickly, bystander CPR can double or triple the survival rate. Since 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen outside a hospital, bystander CPR is essential for saving lives.
This week at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, research was presented showing that even one minute of CPR video training can improve bystander responsiveness and CPR quality.
New Yorkers have the chance to increase the survival rate in our state by supporting “CPR in Schools” legislation that would ensure there is a whole generation of bystanders who know CPR.
This legislation would not require students to become certified in CPR; they would learn the basic skills, making it is easy and affordable. Think of how many lives could be saved if thousands of students learn CPR.
You would think that state lawmakers wouldn’t object to schools taking minutes out of the school year to teach CPR, but this legislation hasn’t passed yet. I’m thrilled my representatives, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Joe Addabbo, support this important legislation.
Take a moment to let yours know you support teaching CPR in School at www.supportcprinschools.org. Your action can save someone’s life.