Nearly half a million people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year.
As many as 90% of them could be saved with timely CPR.
“The more people that have the knowledge to be able to act and take action, the better of the rest of the population will be,” said director of clinical services with Paramedics Plus Scott Christensen.
Christensen says, too many times people have lost their lives because no one around new how to preform CPR.
“If a person can be beating the heart for someone, you are getting blood to the brain and that is the most crucial step,” added Christensen.
The American Heart Association has introduced a bill that would require every high school student in South Dakota to learn CPR.
“This legislation would train what is basically the next generation of bystander CPR responders in South Dakota,” said Communications Director of the American Heart Association Chrissy Meyer.
The American Heart Association estimates the new law would add over 10,000 CPR trained members to the state each year.
“Many of these students are located in very rural communities and homes that have much longer EMS wait times than the city average of 10 minutes,” said Meyer.
“If all the students, everybody in South Dakota learned how to do CPR and even if they just had the basics, it would be so important, said Sarah Stokke, a health careers teacher for the Sioux Falls School District.
Stokke says, although it’s a nice idea to have every student CPR trained, there are some concerns about funding.
“How do you get everybody to be instructors? It’s costly,” said Stokke.
The bill will make its first appearance in front of the Senate Health Committee next Wednesday.