TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a new law that will require some high school students to learn CPR.
âWithout CPR my daughter wouldn’t be alive today,â said Shawn Sima, who nearly lost her daughter Lexi at the age of 16.
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The teenager went into sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed while running on a treadmill in a gym.
“A gentleman in the gym in February 2016 had just completed CPR and knew what to do when my daughter collapsed and died,” said Sima, who lives in Melbourne and advocated for HB 157 to be adopted by the Florida legislature.
The new law will now require grade 9 and 11 students in the Florida public school system to learn how to practice CPR.
âThis is a nationally recognized CPR course in the school’s public health sector,â said Representative Fred Hawkins. “So many people are afraid to act thinking they are going to do something wrong and Florida has laws to protect them, that is the only thing that has been called for during this whole committee process.”
In January, Hawkins filed HB 157. According to the Parent Heart Watch organization, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of death among student athletes.
âWhen you hear people say, you know we are blessed to save the lives of people we will never meet, this could be the most life-saving bill ever passed by the Florida legislature,â said Hawkins. “We really want to include the ECG part and I will be running this invoice the next session this fall.”
For Sima, it’s about saving lives through education.
“Statistics show that at least 20 children a day in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack – it’s an electrical problem, you know, not a blocked artery problem in our youth, “he said. âIt takes an average of eight to twelve minutes for the ambulance to arrive at your house. The key is that you have a maximum of three to five minutes to do something for your loved one.“
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