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DC Council Approves Lifesaving Hands-Only CPR in Schools Bill


Contact: Roxana Hoveyda


DC Council Approves Lifesaving Hands-Only CPR in Schools Bill in Budget Support Act

American Heart Association celebrates a law which will teach DC students CPR, adding thousands of lifesavers in DC each year.

June 21, 2016 (Washington, DC) – Students in the District of Columbia will learn Hands Only CPR in high school health classes, beginning in October. The DC Council included the CPR training language in the 2017 Budget Support Act, which also requires an automated external defibrillator at all schools in the District. In May, the Council appropriated $325,000 to purchase AEDs.

Every hour in the U.S. approximately 38 people will have a cardiac arrest event outside of the hospital – more than 326.000 each year. Nine out of ten people will not survive. However, if lifesaving CPR is performed, a victim’s chance of surviving can double, or even triple. This essential life skill will be incorporated into the high school health education curriculum and will ultimately benefit countless families by increasing the number of people with CPR proficiency. In DC, over 3,000 students graduate from public and charter high schools every year – that is 3,000 lifesavers.

Washington, DC would become the 35th state to require hands-only CPR training in high school, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia—all of which require CPR be taught to students in middle or high school.

The legislation was endorsed by many national and local organizations including the American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American College of Cardiology


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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