A new state mandate requires all high schools in New York to provide instruction of hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and training in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to students as part of the health education curriculum.
“This legislation will help ensure more New Yorkers are prepared to perform CPR and by equipping our kids with this knowledge, we can prevent unnecessary deaths,” said former Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg in 2014 after the bill he sponsored was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The regulation went into effect in October after approval by the Board of Regents in September.
Currently in the BH-BL High School, students participate in a CPR program during Mrs. Armbruster's and Mrs. Henry-Starace's health classes that meets the new state mandate. (See photos.)
Instruction should be based on a nationally recognized program that uses the most current hands-only CPR guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (or equivalent organization); specifically:
Hands-only CPR involves only chest compressions; no rescue breaths (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) are necessary. According to the American Heart Association, CPR can more than double a person's chances of survival, and studies show that people receiving hands-only CPR are as likely to survive as those receiving conventional CPR with rescue breaths.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
Schools may choose to purchase CPR training kits that provide a comprehensive, turnkey instructional program for hands-only CPR practice. Although, to meet the state requirement, schools may also choose from a variety of low-cost and no-cost options including: borrowing necessary equipment, using free online training tools, partnering with local EMS or, as a last resort, students can simulate delivering compressions on basketballs or playground balls.