CPR in Schools -- Fact Sheet

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Here is a CPR in Schools Fact Sheet from the American Red Cross Association:


CPR in Schools

  • During the 2009 school year, 36 states had a law or curriculum standard encouraging CPR training in schools.
  • Most students age 13 or older have the physical size and strength necessary to deliver effective chest compressions. The ability to assess a medical emergency and call 9-1-1 can be taught to younger students.
  • CPR training programs can be delivered for under $1 per student.
  • The Josh Miller Hearts Act, which is strongly supported by the AHA, provides schools with the equipment and training necessary to save the lives of children and adults in the education community.


  • Shopping malls have the third highest incidence of sudden cardiac arrest, according to a Seattle study. The average American teen (age 12-17) spends 58 hours a month at shopping malls.
  • According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, in 2007 there were 16.5 million high school students enrolled in public and private schools in the U.S..
  • In 2009, the AHA, with a grant from the Medtronic Foundation, created Be the Beat, an online program for teens to teach the basics of CPR and how to use an AED.
  • About 5,950 children 18 years old and under suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year from all causes--including trauma, cardiovascular causes and sudden infant death syndrome.
  • The incidence of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in high school athletes ranges from .28 to 1 death per 100,000 high school athletes annually in the U.S.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  • EMS treats nearly 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the U.S.
  • Less than 8% of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive to make it home from the hospital.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

  • Less than one-third of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR
  • Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim's chance of survival.
  • Last year, the AHA trained more than 12 million people in CPR worldwide, including healthcare professionals and the general public
  • Chest compressions should be provided at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute -- the same rhythm as the beat of the Bee Gee's song, "Stayin' Alive."


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