TULSA - State lawmakers are considering a bill requiring all high school students to take a basic CPR training course before graduating.
According to the American Heart Association, only 11 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital will survive. In addition, a survey by the organization found only a third of Oklahomans feel very prepared to perform CPR during an emergency.
The organization said if approved and signed into law, House Bill 1378, authored by State Rep. Emily Vigrin, D-Norman, could significantly increase the odds of someone surviving cardiac arrest.
"This CPR training would require students to take the basic CPR class, a hands only training. This would require chest compressions only," said Lindsey Hansen, communications director for the American Heart Association.
The entire CPR training lasts about 30 minutes and students would only be required to attend one session on one day during their four years of high school.
It would be left up to school districts to decide how to implement the training. For instance, some schools may decide to incorporate the training into a physical education, health or science class.
Students would not be CPR certified after completing the basic training. In order to become CPR certified, additional training is required beyond the basic course.
The American Heart Association said basic CPR, when performed during an emergency, can double or triple a victim's chance of survival. That is why the organization encourages lawmakers to support HB 1378.
"There would be so many more trained people in Oklahoma that would have that life-saving skill and would be able to perform basic CPR and could potentially save a life," said Hansen.
Currently, 12 states, including Arkansas and Texas, have similar laws.
If approved, the law would not take effect until the 2015-2016 school year.
A final vote on the bill could happen next week.