Oregon and Maine are two states which require CPR & AED training as a condition of high school graduation. Combined with the other states which have similar laws, this could mean nearly one million new trained potential rescuers will join the US population each year.
Oregon passed the new law, SB79, in June with an effective date of July 1, 2015, and began with the 2015-2016 school year. In Maine, the new law, HP974, had a tougher road as it was originally vetoed, then overridden in June. The law’s effective date was intended to be July 2014, but was put in effect with the 2015-2016 school year.
As recent studies have shown, bystanders performing CPR is becoming more commonplace and survival rates are beginning to show improvement, though still quite low in most of the USA. AED use is also climbing thanks to laws requiring AED placement where high-risk activities and populations exist, and laws which protect AED users. Hands-Only CPR is easy to teach and easy to learn, as is instructing laypeople in the use of an AED. Requiring schools to provide training in CPR and AED usage can only help raise the statistics of survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
There are several other states with proposals in government to enact similar laws. If every state made CPR & AED training mandatory for graduation, we would welcome more than two million CPR & AED trained responders every year. Imagine the number of people who would benefit with a second chance at life!