Simply put, cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating and you stop breathing.
Over 424,000 people experienced a cardiac arrest last year, the average survival rate is just 10%. Cardiac Arrest is the number cause of death in the United States. In 2013, there were 4,000 cardiac arrest events right here in Maryland.
Chesapeake AED Services has partnered with the American Heart Association to support the passing of Senate Bill 503, Breana’s law, making CPR a graduation requirement for Maryland High School Students. Chesapeake AED Services gives the public “The Power to Save a Life” and this law would do just that. The bill is named after a current Maryland high school student Breana, who experienced a cardiac arrest at her school’s field hockey game just last year. Thanks to the quick action of bystanders at the school, they were able to administer CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, which directly resulted in why she is alive today.
Breana’s Law, Senate Bill 503, involves making CPR and AED instruction a graduation requirement for Maryland High School students. Breanna’s Law will create nearly 60,000 new lifesavers each year in Maryland. The passage of Senate Bill 503, Breanna’s Law, will assure that, no matter where in Maryland you live, work or play, there will be trained lifesavers nearby who will know how to give a cardiac arrest victim the help they need to survive until the AED arrives on scene.
The type instruction we are talking about is called Hands-Only-CPR. This involves only chest compressions and does not require the mouth-to-mouth breathing component. The lessons take only 20-30 minutes to complete, and can be facilitated by teachers or staff with no additional training or required certifications. Maryland high schools currently have CPR in the High School Health Education curriculum; this CPR training has already been vetted and approved. We are asking only that they make it happen! Currently only 38% of high schools in Maryland teach CPR as part of their health education program.
12 other states have already passed similar legislation, making CPR a graduation requirement including both North Carolina and Virginia. The recent passing of Gwyneth’s law in VA was named after 7th grader Gwyneth Griffin who passed away due to cardiac arrest on her school track, where no one how to act or how to help. Because of this law, Virginia is now graduating lifesavers that can help avoid tragic stories like Gwyneth’s.
Simply put Breanna’s Law, Senate Bill 503, WILL SAVE LIVES! We need to encourage our legislators to pass this bill. Please pick up the phone and call your legislator right now (410) 841-3661, and explain why you need Breana’s Law to be passed!