If a person’s heart stops, someone doing CPR can give them an opportunity to survive. The American Heart Association guidelines recommend that everyone, untrained bystanders and medical personnel alike, begin CPR with uninterrupted chest compressions, performed at a rate of about 100 times per minute. Rescue breathing (i.e. mouth to mouth) is no longer needed.
On May 2, I will join volunteers with the American Heart Association in Albany to share the message with our state legislators that CPR should in fact be part of the high school curriculum in New York State. Accompanying this group will be parents who have lost children to cardiac arrest, as well as survivors of cardiac arrest and high school students themselves. These students will teach CPR to passersby and will demonstrate how easy it is to learn the skills that can save a life. We have also invited every state legislator to stop by and learn CPR. Please, I urge you to learn CPR and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). If I have the misfortune to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, I hope there is someone nearby who knows CPR and begins chest compressions, so that I have a chance to return home to my wife and children. I hope our State representatives support the CPR in the Schools Bill—the life of someone you love may depend upon it.
• To learn CPR yourself: Handsonlycpr.org
• Visit our Web site for more info: Supportcprinschools.org