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New bill would place CPR training in high school curriculum

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Students may soon be required to learn CPR in high school.

According to a news release, a bill that would require Oklahoma school students to receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior to graduating from high school was sent to Governor Mary Fallin’s office on Monday.

House Bill 1378 would place CPR training in the school curriculum and allow schools districts to offer the training any time between grades 9 and 12.

Students would receive “hands-on” training with a mannequin, to enable them to learn the psycho-motor skills necessary to perform CPR.

The legislation would not establish CPR as a separate class or credit course, nor would it require students to become certified in CPR.

HB 1378 author Emily Virgin said, “What this measure would do is provide every high-school student in Oklahoma with a skill that just might save someone’s life someday.”

A dozen other states, including Texas and Arkansas, have similar laws.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 424,000 people have sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 10.4 percent survive, most likely because they do not receive timely CPR.

If administered immediately, CPR doubles or triples survival rates.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time, and can be caused by a heart attack, trauma, a substance overdose or drowning.

“The American Heart Association values the leadership of Representative Virgin on House Bill 1378,” said Naomi Amaha, Oklahoma Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. “Oklahoma is now poised to help create a generation of lifesavers. We applaud the Oklahoma Legislature for sending this important legislation to Governor Fallin and urge her to sign HB 1378.”