New Law to Develop CPR Curriculum in PA Schools

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Act 7 of 2019, formerly Senate Bill 115, which will require the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to create a potentially life-saving curriculum for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in Pennsylvania schools.

“I’m proud to sign into law this important life-saving measure. Each additional set of hands trained to do CPR increases the likelihood that a cardiac arrest will be reversed,” said Gov. Wolf. “Teaching our young Pennsylvanians to save a life not only promotes the health of all of Pennsylvania, but it also builds a sense of community and neighborliness.”

This law will enhance CPR instruction for students in grades 9 through 12. The Pennsylvania Department of Education must design a curriculum, age-appropriate materials, and guidelines for integrating CPR instruction into existing curriculum. Professional educators can utilize these materials to deliver high-quality CPR instruction in a way that is most appropriate at the local level.

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year, and nearly 45 percent of those patients who received CPR survived. Act 7 requires PDE to provide a curriculum to schools to teach “hands-only” CPR, a no-breath, compression-only technique recommended by the American Heart Association for sudden cardiac arrests. The curriculum must also include the use of automatic external defibrillators.

“This new law will help provide generations of Pennsylvanians with an important lifesaving skill. Knowing how to properly use the hands-only CPR technique and AED equipment is critical when an individual suffers a cardiac arrest,” said Sen. Tom Killion, who sponsored the bill. “I deeply appreciate Gov. Wolf signing this legislation. It will save many lives.”