Schools to offer CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction

Schools to offer CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction

The 127th Maine Legislature passed LD 556, “An Act to Require Public Schools to Offer Instruction Related to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the Use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).” Consequently, Maine Department of Education rule Chapter 41 has been adopted.

All students must now be offered training in how to perform CPR and understand how to use an AED prior to graduation.  This includes the current senior class.  Details of Chapter Rule 41 are available on the state website, but a few key points to note are:

  • This rule requires school districts to offer all students training in CPR and the use of AEDs some time prior to graduation. The instruction can happen for students at any time in middle or high school.
  • The requirement is NOT for certification in CPR or AED use; however a certification course would meet the requirement.
  • Hands only CPR with a psychomotor skills component will meet the CPR requirement and does not require a certified instructor. The American Heart Association (AHA), the American Red Cross or other nationally-recognized programs offer the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular guidelines. They also incorporate psychomotor skills development into the instruction.  There are several online resources available for teachers or other instructors to utilize.
  • The standards for instruction in AED use may not require the use of an AED but must include an explanation of AED use.
  • All public schools, including charter schools, are required to comply with this rule.

To support implementation of this new law, the AHA Maine Founders Affiliate and the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance have secured a number of CPR in Schools Training Kits.  If you are interested in borrowing a kit, you can click here to download the form or contact kathymwilbur@gmail.com.

For more information on the new requirement contact Susan Berry, Maine DOE’s Health Education & Health Promotion Coordinator, at susan.berry@maine.gov.

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