Should Hawaii students take CPR training? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Should Hawaii students take CPR training?

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A twenty-minute training video would be shown to all students in Hawaii's public high schools if the Department of Education made CPR training mandatory in health class. "The one place where we can really guarantee that people could be trained on a regular basis is school," said Don Weisman of the American Heart Association of Hawaii.

Weisman says the training system-wide is not happening even though the DOE spent taxpayer dollars to get the program started. "We managed to broker a deal between the Department of Health and the Department of Education so DOH was able to provide $20,000 in funding that was going back into the General Fund to the DOE at the end of the year to purchase manikins and training equipment," Weisman said.

A posting on the Heart Association's Facebook page accuses the Education department of ignoring attempts by the AHA to add CPR training as a required part of health classes. Weisman said the Heart Association met with a DOE deputy superintendent in January and sent trainers to teach health resource teachers the hands only CPR students could learn in one 30-minute class.

"It's really simple," Weisman said. "Hands only CPR is basically, call 911, make sure the person is not responsive, get on their chest and do 100 compressions per minute, approximately." He said some schools have taught bystander CPR to students independent of a DOE program.

The Heart Association wants the training to be part of the health curriculum in all public high schools. "And 80 percent of the time when a cardiac arrest occurs it takes place in a home setting. So the kids are most likely going to be saving a family member or a friend," Weisman said.

In a statement, DOE communications director Donalyn Dela Cruz said: "Hawaii's public schools, educators and students have benefited greatly from the contributions made over the years by the American heart Association of Hawaii. It's important that students learn about the various aspects of health awareness and the department is committed to its ongoing partnership with AHA In allowing for meaningful health education."

Twenty states have passed CPR student training laws for their public schools. In Hawaii it's up to the DOE to decide if hands only CPR should be school policy.

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