JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 711 (SB 711) today, making Missouri the 34th state to provide lifesaving CPR training in schools. Today's action by Governor Nixon marks the culmination of five years of work by many dedicated survivors, volunteers and advocates. This legislation has been the centerpiece of the American Heart Association's policy priorities in the Show-Me State, opening the door for all Missouri students to receive a 30-minute introduction to lifesaving skills at some point during their four years of secondary education. The law will take effect during the 2017-2018 school year, in which more than 60,000 Missouri students will immediately benefit from this lifesaving training.
"The American Heart Association celebrates this important victory and we thank the many survivors, volunteers and collaborating partners for making this moment possible," said Jace Smith, Senior Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association in Missouri. "Four of every five out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private or residential settings. CPR training in schools strengthens the cardiac chain of survival by equipping thousands of civilian bystanders to be ready to respond in an emergency. Many lives will be saved because of this legislation."
SB 711 was sponsored by Senator Dan Brown. An identical bill, House Bill 1643 (HB 1643), was sponsored by Representative Ron Hicks. Both pieces of legislation experienced broad bipartisan support. SB 711 requires schools to provide students instruction in CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) as part of high school graduation requirements. The training must be administered during a physical education or health class, as part of the Missouri curriculum, allowing schools flexibility in offering the training. The curriculum can be introduced in 30 minutes or less using a 'practice-while-you-watch' approach with an inflatable manikin and instructional DVD. The law does not require students to achieve CPR certification, nor is this a "pass/fail" training. The bill simply allows students to understand and become familiar with the basics.
For one key legislative proponent, the effort was especially personal. Representative Ron Hicks used his own CPR training to save the life of a Missourian who collapsed during a visit to the Missouri State Capitol in 2014. As a result of that incredible experience, Representative Hicks vowed to see the law passed during his time of public service and worked diligently to help make it happen.
"I have two children and know that children are our future," said Representative Hicks. "We teach skills in the classroom to help students be successful in life. This legislation provides an opportunity to do something very special: to equip students with a tool that protects life and impacts generations to come. That's why this legislation is so important to me."
Why Learn CPR?
Cardiac arrest – an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs – is a leading cause of death. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.
When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Almost 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person's chance of survival.
Be the Difference for Someone You Love:
If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend. Seventy percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. Unfortunately, only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.
Music Can Help Save Lives:
During CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. The beat of "Stayin' Alive" is a perfect match for this.
How To Give Hands-Only CPR:
If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song "Stayin' Alive." CPR can more than double a person's chances of survival, and "Stayin' Alive" has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.
Hands-Only CPR Can Save Lives:
Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, don't be afraid. Your actions can only help.
When calling 9-1-1, you will be asked for your location. Be specific, especially if you're calling from a mobile phone, as that is not associated with a fixed address. Answering the dispatcher's questions will not delay the arrival of help.
For More Information:
To learn more, visit www.heart.org/handsonlyCPR.
About the American Heart Association & the American Stroke Association:
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team up with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org. In Missouri, you may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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SOURCE American Heart Association