Current landscape in US schools for bystander CPR training and AED requirements.

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Journal of interventional cardiac electrophysiology : an international journal of arrhythmias and pacing


BACKGROUND: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a public health crisis affecting about 356,000 adults and 23,000 children annually in the US with 90% fatality. Early bystander CPR and AED application improve survival. Less than 3% of the US population is CPR trained annually. Since 20% of the US population is at school daily, these represent ideal places to target CPR training. Having standardized state school CPR and AED laws will help with training.

METHODS: We performed a systemic search of the state-specific laws for school AED and CPR requirements within the US. We used PubMed and Google search using keywords: school CPR mandates, US laws for CPR in schools, US state laws for AED implementation, and gaps in US school CPR and AED. We searched for mandates for schools in other countries for comparison.

RESULTS: The state laws for CPR training for high school graduation and AED requirements in US. schools are highly variable, and funding for AEDs is inadequate, especially in schools in lower socio-economic zip codes. Recent AED legislative efforts focus mainly on athletic areas and don't adequately address school size, number of buildings, non-athletic areas, and engagement of student-led advocacy efforts.

CONCLUSION: To improve OHCA survival, we identified potential solutions to consolidate efforts and overcome the barriers-standardize state laws, involve student bodies, increase funding, and allocate appropriate resources. The CPR/AED education needs to start earlier in schools and be part of the standard curriculum rather than implemented as a stopgap check-box mandate.





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