Many U.S. schools don't teach CPR even when states require it
(Reuters Health) - Even though high schools in most U.S. states are required to offer training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to students, many do not, a new study suggests.
Nationwide, more than 350,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside of hospitals each year, researchers note in a report scheduled for publication in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Patients' survival odds improve when a bystander at the scene performs CPR, but only about 2.4 percent of Americans are trained in CPR each year.
To get more people trained, 39 states had passed legislation requiring CPR training in high schools as of September 2017. But when researchers surveyed administrators at schools in 32 states with mandatory CPR, only 77 percent of respondents said they provided this training.
"One major barrier for schools is the cost of CPR training," said lead study author Dr. Lorrel Brown of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky.
"High-quality mannequins are expensive and certified instructors are not always readily available," Brown said by email. "The majority of states do not provide funding for CPR training, and therefore individual districts and schools are left to implement the requirement in their local context."
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