November 22, 2014
Rate this
CPR new high school graduation requirement
Tracey O'Neill

Governor Lincoln Chafee signed legislation last week requiring high school seniors to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) in order to graduate.

The student training, which will fall under the purview of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will be incorporated into district health education curriculums.

Under the newly enacted law, the training will include a hands-on course in CPR and an overview of AED use. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will develop curriculum guidelines and monitor the training to ensure student proficiency.

“There is no complicated training involved and no special equipment required,” said Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist.19, Warwick, Cranston), sponsor of the House bill (2013-H536).

“Once an individual has been shown the process and has physically performed the function, they will have it forever.”

McNamara, who sits on the New England Board of Education, sponsored the bill on behalf of the American Heart Association. McNamara believes the training will quicken response to potentially life-threatening injuries and help students learn how to save lives.

The Senate companion bill, sponsored by Sen. James E. Doyle II (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket), passed on May 7.

“The major impetus behind the bill and the new curriculum requirement was the change in CPR policy to the ‘hands only’ CPR,” said McNamara. “It is simple to do and to demonstrate.”

According to a press release, a study in the journal of Critical Care found that students as young as 9 years old were successfully able to learn First Aid skills, such as emergency calling and AED deployment. Of 147 students studied between 9 and 18 years old, 86 percent performed CPR successfully.

McNamara demonstrated the technique on the House floor using a volleyball as a human substitute.

“There are two steps,” said McNamara. “You call 911. Then place your hands interlocked in the center of the chest and push hard and fast.”

According to McNamara, there is no major funding requirement for the program either.

“There really is no extra cost,” he said. “All health teachers in the state are qualified to teach it. They are training students on a basic technique that does not require certification.”

Rhode Island students are not taking a certified training course and are not required to do so. They will be joining students from 36 other states that require some form of CPR training for graduation according to data provided by the American Safety and Health Institute.

Students will also be schooled in the use of the AED.

“Every school has at least one AED,” said McNamara. “It is basically just a matter of showing the students the AED and what it does. It is a machine held in a case like a briefcase. As soon as you open the box, it automatically leads you through the process with verbal prompts. It starts with the application of leads on the chest and then tells you when to push the buttons.”

The governor’s signature made the law effective immediately.

A former school administrator, McNamara is confident that students will embrace the training.

“It’s a great option for kids,” said McNamara. “Having observed many emergencies, I know that students, given the opportunity, are willing and enthusiastic about helping. “

McNamara, in advancing the bill, noted the need for trained first responders in critical situations and benefits of possessing basic skills.

“Hopefully the training will save the lives of more Rhode Islanders,” he said. “The more people trained, the more people saved.”

The House bill was co-sponsored by Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), Rep. Eileen S. Naughton (D-Dist. 21, Warwick), Rep. Karen L. MacBeth (D-Dist 52, Cumberland) and Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Middletown, Newport).


Comments
8 comments on this item

What a giant waste of resources. Out of those who receive CPR, only 8% (that's right, *8*) live. Out of that 8%, only 25% go back to their normal lives with no damage done. The rest linger on with varying degrees of permanent brain damage. So out of 100 people receiving CPR, 8 will live, and 2 will go back to their everyday lives. These statistics are DISMAL. Why so much emphasis on this procedure?

Wow! Good thing they're being required to be certified in CPR! Now..if only they could read and write. Thanks Governor! Rhode Island is always on the cutting edge of education! ;)

Eeyore004, that's the dumbest logic I've ever heard of. Even if its 1 out of 100 people should still know how to do it. It's possible a LIFE SAVING PROCEDURE. Tell the 8/100 that are saved that we shouldn't waste our time learning this procedure... It's a 4 hour class at the most, waste of time?

Well, I'd try, but 2 of those 8 will be permanent vegatables, and 3-4 of the ones that aren't will suffer permanent brain damage and may not understand. Frankly, with the stakes being what they are, I'd rather not be responsible for keeping some one alive to condemn them to that sort of future. The results don't justify the emphasis we place on this procedure.

No one is saying you have to be responsible. The basic facts are its a quick easy class that saves lives why not make people make their own decision. If the had the class and don't want to help. So be it. In my opinion the more that know the better.

It should not be a graduation requirement. It should be a personal choice if someone WANTS to learn CPR. This requirement is not a necessary tool for high school graduation. I agree that CPR is a good thing to know and be certified in, however, why not offer a workshop to the students for them to VOLUNTARILY participate in, and why not charge a small fee to offset the cost of the class? The logic escapes me.

YOU STUPID POLITICIANS STOP RAMMING SPECIAL INTEREST EDUCATION DOWN OUR KIDS THROATS. Yes, knowing CPR is nice. How about schools doing what they were supposed to do? Reading, writing, Math.

I hope someone sues. Not everyone wants to perform CPR. It involves breaking ribs, nearly every single time it is done. Some people don't want to touch a stranger and don't have the courage to do CPR.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to log in.
Welcome to RIjobs.com
Copyright © 2014, Beacon Communications. Powered by: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.