CPR training will help save lives

Thanks to the work of local community members and the American Heart Association (AHA), we will now be training thousands of Minnesotans in CPR skills every year, or as they put it, “creating millions of potential heroes in 30 minutes or less.” Governor Dayton has signed legislation I co-authored to require all Minnesota students to learn CPR before they graduate from high school.
This change could have a major impact on cardiac survival rates in Minnesota. According to the AHA, sudden cardiac arrest strikes about 42 men, women and children every hour in the United States, usually without any prior symptoms. The survival rates of these attacks are very low, but bystander CPR can double or even triple the odds of survival.
Currently, only a handful of Minnesota schools offer any kind of CPR instruction. With the legislation passed this session, every school will be required to offer training in CPR at some point before graduation. They can be taught using a DVD course and mannequin dummies, by an instructor, by local fire departments or EMS professionals, or even by another student who has done the training before.
“As long as they follow the nationally recognized guidelines and include a psychomotor component (physically doing chest compressions) research shows that individuals who receive this training even once are more likely to use it during an emergency.” -AHA
To ensure that this requirement does not put our school in a financial bind, the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium at the University of Minnesota has compiled a list of resources schools from across the state can use to provide the training at no cost, including local fire departments or EMS and volunteer survivor groups.
This is an important piece of legislation that could save many lives. I would like to thank Dr. John Wheeler, a Maplewood resident, and everyone working with the AHA for their work on this legislation. It was a great pleasure to work with them and I appreciate the time and effort they put into this cause.
If you would like more information on CPR education, visit AHA’s website at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.

Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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