BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, Ill., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois firefighters and advocates from the American Heart Association applauded Governor Quinn for signing House Bill 3724 into law at the annual Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois convention in Bloomington-Normal. The legislation, which takes effect immediately, will require Illinois high schools to add Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to their curriculum.
"This legislation will create a new generation of lifesavers in Illinois," said Lynne T. Braun, PhD, Chair of the American Heart Association's Illinois Advocacy Committee.
The bill was named for Lauren Laman, a 17-year-old in St. Charles, IL, who collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest during dance practice at school. CPR was not given before EMS arrived and no AED was used, even though there was one nearby. Lauren's family members worked closely with Representative Dan Burke, Senator John Mulroe, and the American Heart Association to advocate for this new law.
"I am thankful for the support my family and I have received to make the Lauren Laman Law possible," said George Laman, Lauren Laman's father. "Without Representative Dan Burke, Senator John Mulroe, President Pat Devaney of The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI) and Illinois State Fire Marshall Larry Matkaitis, Alex Meixner of the American Heart Association, Tom Lia of the National Sprinkler Advisory Board, Peg Paul – Publicist, Retired firefighter Steve Rose of Oak Park, and numerous proponents of House Bill 3724, we would not have required CPR/AED training in all Illinois High Schools for the 2014-2015 school year. This success is bittersweet because many lives will be saved in Lauren's name. However, the cost of losing our daughter Lauren was a terrible price to pay. Lauren, we will love you forever!"
"We want to thank Governor Quinn for signing this bill into law, Representative Dan Burke for introducing it in the House and championing it throughout, and Senator John Mulroe for sponsoring it in the Senate," said Alex Meixner, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. "Most of all, we want to thank Lauren's parents George and Mary and the entire Laman family for their unwavering commitment to building Lauren a permanent legacy in Illinois. We all know the math when it comes to CPR and AED training: the more people trained, the more lives saved, and both of those numbers are going to go up in years to come thanks to Lauren's Law."
Approximately 424,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year, with an average survival rate of only 10 percent. Less than one-third of victims receive CPR from a bystander, and while AEDs are increasingly available, most people don't know how to use them and are afraid to try.
However, bystander CPR can triple survival rates from cardiac arrest. If an AED is used in conjunction with CPR, the survival rate can jump to more than 50 percent.
"Studies show that trainees, including schoolchildren, can become proficient in CPR and AED use in 30 minutes or less," said Dr. Braun. "We have also learned that students who have practiced chest compressions on a CPR mannequin are more likely to use it during an emergency. We need a generation of people who won't hesitate to act if someone near them collapses."
SOURCE American Heart Association