Students in New Jersey will soon get a new life-saving lesson added to their curriculum.

A New Jersey law passed on August 20th will require high school students to complete CPR and AED training.

The law was signed at the Burlington Township Middle School where a student recently collapsed and was successfully revived by the use of CPR and an AED. The law is put in place simply to increase the amount of people who are capable of saving the lives of others.

The law will become part of the state’s Health and Physical Education Standards, and it begins with new freshman starting school this year. Obtaining a CPR/AED certification is usually a three hour ordeal when taking a class with an accredited organization, although it is unclear to what extent the students will be taught.

CPR and AED training involves little investment in time and effort as there are only a few steps to learn, and most AED's are equipped with an automated voice that instructs a person on exactly what to do. 

CPR/AED Facts and Statistics

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, only 32% of SCA victims get CPR, and only 2% are given treatment by an AED. In only the U.S., there are 424,000 people who experience an episode of SCA, of which 90% die. 

The survival of SCA victims is much in the hands of bystanders since emergency medical help will take at least 5-10 minutes to arrive. The survival rate of about 10% rises to 38% if a bystander has performed CPR and AED assistance on a victim before EMS arrives.

Therefore, it’s imperative that more people become equipped with the skills to administer CPR and AED help since every 1 minute that goes by without help decreases the victim’s survival rate by 7-10%.

Time for Change

New Jersey looks to pave the way in ensuring that a higher percentage of the population is equipped with CPR and AED training, which will save many lives. 

Hopefully, it won't be long before similar laws are passed in other states in an attempt to reduce the number of SCA related deaths.