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CPR in Schools

CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival


be prepared whenever someone suffers a cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops functioning as it should and can no longer pump blood to the brain or vital organs. Nearly 38 people an hour suffer a cardiac arrest at home, work, or even church — that is 420,000 people on an annual basis. MySafe:LA is working to teach high school students and faculty the importance of knowing how to perform “hands-only” CPR, how to communicate with 911 call takers, and how to give people experiencing cardiac arrest a better chance to survive. 


Why Is CPR So Important?

If performed immediately, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Sadly, that happens less than 14 percent of the time outside of the hospital. Cardiac Arrest isn’t limited to individuals with heart disease. There are many reasons cardiac arrest may occur, and only rapid intervention can improve that person’s chances for survival. Our CPR initiative is designed to give any high school that goes through the program an opportunity to be better prepared whenever someone suffers an unexpected cardiac arrest.

What is the Plan?

Teaching high school students how to perform hands-only CPR is simple, easily retainable, and creates a more resilient campus. A complete Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP) is an essential component to every 21st Century learning center’s readiness capabilities. To learn more about how a CERP can impact your high school, please see the attached American Heart Association 2016 Policy Brief.

MySafe:LA is supporting the creation of CERP in Los Angeles Unified School District campuses. The developmental process includes:

  • Teaching high school students how to perform CPR and use an AED
  • Teaching faculty how to perform CPR and use an AED (if required)
  • Providing a template for creation of a campus CERP document
  • Encouraging the campus (faculty and students) to register for PulsePoint software
  • Tracking how and where this training has taken place

Where Does The Training Take Place?

High school students who attend health classes take the hands-only CPR course. Each educational session lasts 50 minutes. A MySafe:LA educational team can teach four to six classes in a day. Each high school will need to determine the total number of classes that this training may apply to. Even a single day allocated for this life saving educational experience can result in up to 300 students being CPR-aware (maximum class size is 42 students).

CPR training for faculty can take place in any space where the faculty and educators have the opportunity to work together. This could include a gym, conference room, classroom, and auditorium. MySafe:LA works closely with each high school’s leadership team to establish an appropriate schedule for training.

What Does a Completed CERP Plan Look Like?

At a minimum, each participating high school will implement a working plan that follows the American Heart Association’s Guidelines for responding to cardiac arrest. Each plan may be slightly different, based on the needs of the high school.

All schools should have a CERP in place that contains the minimum, evidence-based core elements:

  • Establishing a Cardiac Emergency Response Team
  • Activating the team in response to an (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) or SCA
  • Implementing AED placement and routine maintenance within the school (similar to re-extinguisher protocols)
  • Disseminating the plan throughout the school campus
  • Maintaining ongoing staff training in CPR/AED use
  • Practicing using drills (akin to re and lock-down drills)
  • Integrating local EMS with the plan
  • What is the closest Fire Station ID and Telephone Number?
  • How Do You Communicate with a 911 Call Taker?
  • Reviewing and evaluating the plan on ongoing and annual basis

Note that many states are adopting new State laws, regulations and related educational standards that may require schools to develop and maintain a CERP program.

Who Is Teaching Students and Faculty?

The individuals who deliver hands-only CPR are first responders who have successfully completed first-responder CPR and AED training. All LAFD members are EMTs, and many are Paramedics. All MySafe:LA educators are EMRs or EMTs, and several are paramedics. All MySafe:LA members have successfully completed the American Heart Association’s CPR and AED first responder training.

For Additional Information:

10061 Riverside Drive, Mailstop #777, North Hollywood, CA 91602

pdfAmerican Heart Association’s policy brief on CPR

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