A state of emergency was issued on Wednesday due to the dangers of record snowfall, but Kentucky continues to be in a state of emergency due to deaths from cardiac arrest.
Every year an average of 6,250 people in America are killed by weather-related accidents while nearly 360,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. Only a fraction of those victims survive.
One of the strongest predictors of walking out of the hospital is whether the person received early bystander CPR.
The Kentucky Senate has the opportunity to pass legislation that would grant every high school student the opportunity to learn CPR. House Bill 249 sponsored by Representative Jeff Greer passed the House by a vote of 94-1. The bill has been stuck for days in the Senate Education Committee with leadership refusing to allow it up for a vote.
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If they continue to hold this bill, it will be detrimental to both our students and the victims of cardiac arrest.
CPR has been proven to double or triple the chances of a victim surviving cardiac arrest. Over time this bill would ensure that Kentucky has hundreds of thousands of individuals who know how to respond in such a crisis.
I am a cardiologist in Kentucky and frequently care for victims of cardiac arrest. I had the pleasure of meeting the Adams family when Jon Wes suffered a cardiac arrest while running at age 25. Through the grace of God, he received early bystander CPR that fateful day and now has the chance to live a normal life with his family.
My hope is that everyone in our state can learn how to do life-saving CPR. It's easier than ever and can be taught in as little as 30 minutes. We have the chance to start with our children.
Don't let this chance pass. Contact your state senator at 1-800-372-7181 and say that you expect a vote in support of HB 249.
With only a few days left in session, action needs to be taken quickly to ensure Kentucky is CPR smart.