Make CPR education mandatory in Pennsylvania high schools

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Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most deadly and tragic medical issues that a person and a family can endure. Often arising without prior warning, sudden cardiac arrest has left over 400,000 families broken in 2014 alone, making it the leading cause of death for adults over the age of 40 in the United States. The loss of a family member is one of the most difficult experiences of life, and it always warrants the question, “If only…” However, in the case of sudden cardiac arrest, there is an “if only.”

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest can double or even triple a victim’s chances of survival. Understanding its importance, 38 states have agreed to require CPR training for all high school students. However, in this matter, Pennsylvania lags behind. Although bills mandating this training have been proposed in Pennsylvania’s Congress (House Bills 1464 as well as Senate Bill 529), they have not yet been passed, leaving Pennsylvania citizens particularly vulnerable to sudden cardiac arrest.

Recently, my uncle, a young, healthy man, was struck with sudden cardiac arrest, and the lack of treatment in the first moments after he collapsed may have cost him his life. Although my uncle could not get the help he needed, it is a fate I would never wish on anyone, and with mandatory CPR taught in high schools, we could get closer to this reality. Join us as we fight to help fight cardiac arrest across Pennsylvania.



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