Pa. governor signs CPR bill into law

Act 7 requires PDE to provide a curriculum to schools to teach hands-only CPR, a no-breath, compression-only technique recommended by the American Heart Association for sudden cardiac arrests


Bill Cameron
Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A new law will now require the state Department of Education to create potentially life-saving curriculum for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Act 7 of 2019, formerly Senate Bill 115, was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday.

"I'm proud to sign into law this important life-saving measure," Wolf said in a Wednesday statement. "Each additional set of hands trained to do CPR increases the likelihood that a cardiac arrest will be reversed."

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital each year, and nearly 45% of those patients who received CPR survived, according to the statement. (Photo/ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital each year, and nearly 45% of those patients who received CPR survived, according to the statement. (Photo/ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)

"Teaching our young Pennsylvanians to save a life not only promoted the health of all of Pennsylvania, it builds a sense of community and neighborliness."

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital each year, and nearly 45% of those patients who received CPR survived, according to the statement. Act 7 requires PDE to provide a curriculum to schools to teach hands-only CPR, a no-breath, compression-only technique recommended by the American Heart Association for sudden cardiac arrests. The curriculum must also include the use of automatic external defibrillators.

"This new law will help provide generations of Pennsylvanians with an important lifesaving skill," Sen. Tom Killion (R-9), who sponsored the bill, said in the governor's statement. "Knowing how to properly use the hands-only CPR technique and AED equipment is critical when an individual suffers a cardiac arrest."

"I deeply appreciate Gov. Wolf signing this legislation. It will save many lives."

Pennsylvania previously provided an education standard for general CPR topics but did not explicitly provide a model curriculum for CPR instruction. This new law will update the state's education standard to reflect the most current CPR technique and proper instruction, although it will not make CPR training an official requirement for high school graduation.

The law's passage was welcomed news for Rachel Moyer, who has advocated for the legislation for more than a decade. Moyer along with her husband, Monroe County Commissioner John Moyer, founded the Greg W. Moyer Defibrillator Fund, which helps provide AEDs and CPR training to institutions across the country, following the 2000 death of their son Greg to cardiac arrest.

"There are 38 states and the District of Columbia that have passed similar legislation," Rachel Moyer said. "States that kids have learned CPR and AED use in high school have already shown an increase in bystander CPR from a recent study by the American Heart Association."

All five Monroe County state lawmakers voted in favor of the Act 7, with Sens. Mario Scavello (R-40) and John Blake (D-22) serving as cosponsors. The new law will take effect Aug. 12, 2019.

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©2019 the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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