By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

Southcarolinastatehouse

Next fall, all South Carolina students attending public school will be required to learn CPR before they graduate from high school.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed legislation this week requiring hands-on cardiopulmonary resuscitation be incorporated in the high school health education curriculum.

With the bill’s passage, the state became the 30th in the nation to require CPR training from its students.

“We have been working so hard on this legislation for the past four years, and it is great to finally see the result of our hard work today,” said Coleman Maness, whose life was saved when a bystander performed CPR after he suffered sudden cardiac arrest. “This bill will ensure that other cardiac arrest victims will have a greater chance at survival.”

According to American Heart Association statistics, about 38 people each hour have a cardiac arrest event while not in a hospital, and nine of 10 don’t survive. Receiving CPR, however, can double or even triple the victim’s chances of survival.

Kentucky and New Mexico also have passed laws this year requiring CPR to be taught in school. But Wisconsin may soon also join them. The state has an approved bill awaiting the governor’s signature.

In Missouri, lawmakers also have inched closer to passing its own CPR bill, one that also would require students to receive instruction in first aid for choking. The bill received approval in the House last month still is making its way through the Senate, where a similar bill stalled last year.

A CPR in schools bill also has been introduced in Michigan, where sponsors have publicly championed the measure.