PRINGFIELD – State Sen. John G. Mulroe, D-10th, passed a proposal out of the Senate yesterday that requires Illinois high schools to train students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automatic external defibrillators prior to graduation.
Currently, CPR and AED training is not required as a part of health education. Mulroe’s proposal requires high schools to include training to administer CPR and how to use an AED in their health education curricula. Twelve states already have similar requirements for students.
“Fifty percent of schools in Illinois already do this without being required, because they understand the need and that the training can help save lives,” said Mulroe, who is Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee. “We already require schools to have AED machines. Why wouldn’t we teach students how to use them?”
In 2008, the Laman family of suburban St. Charles received the most devastating news a family can get. Lauren Laman, an 18-year-old high school senior, had gone into sudden cardiac arrest at dance practice after school. While the AED machine was only 40 feet from where Lauren collapsed, no students or teachers used the machine to try to revive her. Tragically, Lauren died before the paramedics could arrive on the scene.
Since that time, Lauren’s parents, George and Mary, have become advocates for CPR and AED training in schools. When the senator met with the Lamans, he immediately knew that he had to help them.
“The passage of this legislation will not bring Lauren back, but every life saved moving forward will be because of Lauren and her family,” Mulroe said. “She will not be forgotten.”
The legislation, House Bill 3724, passed the Senate yesterday and will now move to the governor’s desk for his consideration.