Florida Family Pushes for Mandatory CPR Training in Schools
Imagine what it would be like if everyone had basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and knew how to use automated external defibrillator (AED).
When an emergency happened, people would be equipped to provide first response in those crucial seconds before an ambulance even arrives.
How CPR Saved Lexi
A Florida family wants a future where everyone can do CPR and work an AED in times of emergency. High school students in Brevard County, Florida, are required to take CPR and AED classes before they graduate, thanks to Shawn Sima and his daughter Lexi.
Lexi had suffered a cardiac arrest when she was 16. If not for the quick thinking of CPR-trained people at her gym where it happened, she might not have survived. CPR and an AED kept her alive while they waited for paramedics. She spent three weeks in the hospital and now has a cardiac defibrillator in her chest, which a cardiologist checks every three months.
This experience led the father and daughter duo to get behind legislation that would require all high school students to learn these two life-saving techniques. So far, only Brevard County has the mandatory CPR training, but the Simas are working with legislators to make it a statewide requirement.
The Importance of CPR Training
The first few minutes of a patient in cardiac arrest are the most important. If a patient is not resuscitated in time, the brain and other organs can suffer damage and begin to shut down. An ambulance can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to arrive on the scene. Those minutes are crucial for ensuring that the patient lives.
In Lexi’s case, people at the gym knew how to do CPR. Her father believes that she would not have made if not for this life-saving technique. Thousands of people suffer cardiac arrest every year.
The goal of mandatory CPR and AED training is to have more people around who are able to keep patients alive in an emergency like the one Lexi suffered. More high school districts may soon follow the lead of Brevard County.