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Benefits of CPR Classes in High Schools

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“The use of CPR dates all the way back to 1740, most Americans don’t know how to perform it.” CPR is a miraculous technique that if given properly and immediately to sudden cardiac arrest victims the more likely people’s lives would be saved. It is a lifesaving skill that everyone should be taught but unfortunately most people do not know the skill. Unfortunately, most people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital do not get CPR from a bystander, which significantly lessens their chances of survival. Anyone can be put in a circumstance when lifesaving skills are crucially necessary for themselves or someone else present near them. Of course, the majority of the people would definitely want someone around them to be able to know the live-saving skills needed to save them, if ever needed. Furthermore, it is uncommon for young adolescents and people in general, to engage in first aid and CPR training and dedicate their time to learning the life-saving skill. Our generation today is quick to be able to watch six or more episodes on Netflix in just one sitting but complain about not having enough time to take a CPR class. Yet, we people still make time to binge-watch shows when one could have used that time to learn how to save a life. Not only is it for this reason, that I believe that that CPR instructions and classes should be taught at high schools and be mandatory as a high school requirement but also because of the numerous benefits CPR classes will provide throughout the world.

A CPR class usually is about two and a half hours to 3 hours and is a realistic way to be sure that you won’t be in a situation where you stand hopeless and feel useless when someone needs you. People may think that they’ll never be in a situation where CPR is needed. However, according to the American Heart association, “88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home”, which is equivalent to about 1.32 million people out of 1.5 million people that have heart attacks at home and inside the hospital. About 70 percent of Americans that is (227.5 million Americans out of 325 million U.S) don’t know CPR so the chances of one being around in an emergency are not very good. Also according to the American Heart Association, “performing CPR before the paramedics arrive can double or even triple the chances of survival.” Everyone knows that babies are bound to put small objects in their mouth but what would happen if that baby was present near a person who does not know how to perform CPR, started choking on a piece of toy, struggling to breathe. What would that person do? Young children often put items in their mouth which leads to choking, CPR may then be needed to help the child start breathing again. “CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective,” Four to six minutes after cardiac arrest, the brain begins to die if CPR is not provided, and the average response time of 911 is about 11 minutes. If CPR is performed within 4 minutes, up to 200,000 lives can be saved each year. The statistics show that the life you would be saving with CPR would most likely be family or friend, since like stated earlier 88 percent of cardiac arrests happen at home.

One might infer that the decision of making CPR mandatory in high school would eventually take licensed teachers and organizations like the American Heart Association out of business due to the fact that more people will be educated. That could be the case, however, one must look at the bigger picture. If CPR were to become mandatory, then there would be more than a sufficient amount of people who would be able to encourage others to take classes. A more educated community signifies the more motivation spread throughout others to continue training whether they would like to pursue in a career that would be required, or not. The installation of CPR classes in a high school, filled with young students can potentially inspire others to take part in that knowledge and carry it with them in every aspect of their life, of course, taking initiative to take classes. If the citizens realize that the youth are being educated with a wonderful life-saving skill, they would come to the realization that anyone is capable of learning and performing CPR, regardless of age. The youth is the future generation. With that being said, having CPR taught at high schools to young citizens would benefit not only themselves, and the ability for them to carry out their training throughout their lives but also as a whole community where we can create a culture in which CPR training could become fundamental to the educational system as any other subject in school.

The duration of a class can depend on the goals of the training and how it is functioned, Dr. Atkins says, but can be completed effectively in just a short, one-time 30-minute session. Moreover, if one wishes to be properly licensed, in terms of receiving a card that indicates that you’ve been trained, then training altogether, would takes a little more time such as a few hours ,Atkins says. According to Surefire CPR, if all high schools made CPR training mandatory, “Our communities would benefit from more bystanders who are confident to administer immediate CPR and could save thousands of lives.” CPR training can take as short as 30 minutes during a regular, physical education class, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be included in a student’s education. CPR training can be incorporated in a health class so that a student can be able to maintain a flexible schedule.

‘Sudden cardiac arrest is a common problem, not necessarily in young people, but in older people and they may be learning a skill to save an aunt or an uncle or a grandparent or even a parent,’ says Dr. Dianne Atkins, who works with the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee of the American Heart Association. For this reason, some states have made the decision of starting to require cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator instructions and training to be taught in high schools. In some states, like Illinois , learning CPR is a high school graduation requirement.

In 2015, it has been recorded that the amount of U.S states that require high school students to take mandatory CPR classes are 21 states, and the number is luckily increasing. There are “more than one million high school student annually” across the United States who need to take CPR classes in order to graduate. If we as a society came to a consensus to widespread CPR training to the broader U.S, high school, students would be in a well-positioned role to improve rates of bystander CPR initiation in our country. The involvement of these students would increase the survival rate of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital through immediate engagement in CPR. Just imagine the many lives that could be saved if all high school students were to take mandatory CPR classes in all 50 states across the United States.

Take for instance, a real life story of a high school student’s experience of putting CPR training into use in a real-life emergency. Senior Alex Cowie from Hillsboro High School in Oregon helped a senior citizen who collapsed at the gym she works at, come back to life. “I looked over and he fell and hit his head on the machine,” said Cowie. “It was very scary. It was very frantic at first. But, of course, you have to do something to help.” The reality is that some teenagers might not have known what to do in that situation but luckily, Cowie had the knowledge from her classes at school that helped save the elderly man, as she joined other bystanders perform CPR. “For the amount of time that he was unresponsive it was crucial that there was two of us there because it does take a lot out of you,” said Cowie. Alex’s experience was a memorable one that gave her confidence to know that she’s ready to overcome the many hardships life sometimes throws at her. .“I never thought that I’d be in a situation where I’d need to use that, but I’m glad I had the knowledge”, says Cowie. She hopes other students can hear her story and take CPR training very serious.

Overall, CPR is a lifesaving skill that everyone needs to learn. With these previous statistics, one can conclude that time plays an important role. Think about the benefits of 2.5 or 3 hours of training and how it can save a life. It starts with you; your decision to use your time wisely and take action to save a life. We know we have time, so what’s better than making CPR classes mandatory? This ensures that people will participate and get involved. You may never be in a situation where you will need to resuscitate a person using CPR, but are you willing to take that risk? The next time Netflix prompts you with a new show suggestion, will you say yes and continue watching or say yes to learning how to save a life, knowing you could make a difference in a person’s life?

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Benefits of Cpr Classes in High Schools. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from
“Benefits of Cpr Classes in High Schools.” GradesFixer, 10 Oct. 2020,
Benefits of Cpr Classes in High Schools. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2022].
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