Opinion: CPR training should be mandatory in high school

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After asking to use the bathroom, a student walks out of class. Turning the corner in the hallway, the student comes to a sudden stop as there is a person in the middle of the floor, motionless. Something like this hypothetical can happen anywhere at any time and it’s why Frisco ISD should require instruction on how to perform CPR, how to know when to perform it and how to operate a defibrillator at least twice in every student’s high school career.

Despite a lack of education on CPR in high schools, the district’s work in the middle school has demonstrated phenomenal success. Last year a student from Cobb Middle School performed CPR on her father when he struggled to breathe, using the knowledge she obtained recently that school year. This kind of training should be repeated in high school to ensure that it continues to save lives.

The time for this is now. February is American Heart Month and with students set to fill out their schedule request forms for next year, it’s a good time to make a push for mandatory CPR in high school. It may too late to push for this to happen in the 2017-18 school year, but it’s something that deserves attention in the near future.

Shocking statistics from the American Heart Association reveal that about 90 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest out of the hospital die. The same page states that performing CPR could double or triple the chance of survival. The percent of deaths that occur is unacceptable given that it could be very easily reduced.

Another page of statistics from the American Heart Association states that 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home. Experience in performing CPR is important as it would most likely need to be used at home when nobody else is around with knowledge on how to perform it. The same study says that only 32 percent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest receive CPR from a bystander. This number is horrifying given that if even 10 percent more people learned how to perform CPR, countless lives could be spared.

The district should make it mandatory for all high school students to learn CPR. A small number of courses do teach CPR to students, however it is not mandatory for all students. While most students are aware of CPR, most would also be unsure of what to do in an event that requires it.

Even though there is some attempt to inform people about CPR on campus, it is simply not enough until every last student is educated on topic. Today it might seem to be an unnecessary piece of knowledge, but that little bit of knowledge could one day save lives.