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Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Education in United States Schools: Shortcomings and Future Directions.

Cardiology in Review 2024 Februrary 8
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving procedure that is performed during a cardiac arrest. CPR consists of chest compressions, rescue breaths, and the usage of an automated external defibrillator (AED) based on availability. Performance of CPR can greatly increase the chances of survival by enabling the manual perfusion of vital organs in lieu of the heart's normal function. Despite extensive studies demonstrating the efficacy and necessity of CPR in an emergency, most of the public across the United States is ill-equipped and/or educated on how to perform it. While there may be other contributing factors, the lack of CPR education across schools in the United States almost certainly furthers the CPR illiteracy of the general population. Although states require some degree of CPR training, the level of education that students receive varies widely across communities and school districts, largely dictated by the available funding for training courses. Despite the lack of CPR education in the United States, studies conducted abroad have shown the efficacy of a CPR course in preparing students to respond in emergencies-lending hope to mending the current situation in the United States. In this article, we analyze legislation dictating CPR instruction and hypothesize ways in which states' Department of Education might be able to promote education and hands-on experience for students across all ages of schooling. Ultimately, we hope to highlight the importance and feasibility of preparing the next generation of citizens across the United States to respond when their name is called upon in an emergency.

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