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Michigan to require all schools to have cardiac emergency plans in place

Numerous other states could soon implement similar legislation.
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Posted at 11:30 AM, Apr 29, 2024

In recent months, several states have considered laws requiring schools to have comprehensive cardiac emergency response plans in place. On Saturday, Michigan became the latest state to make the requirement law.

The American Heart Association said Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are among the states also considering the requirement.

The American Heart Association said it has been pushing for such legislation in 40 states. The organization says that getting immediate, high-quality CPR can double or even triple a person's chances of surviving a cardiac event outside the home. For each minute a person in cardiac distress goes without CPR, their chances of dying increase by 10%, the American Heart Association said.

“Saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest depends on having a strong chain of survival across the emergency response system,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “This means immediately activating 911, starting quality CPR compressions, having an AED nearby and using it, having EMS on scene and ensuring quality hospital care."

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The Michigan legislation passed the Senate by a 31-6 margin before the House approved it 77-30. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation on Saturday.

The bill requires schools to regularly maintain automated external defibrillators, if available; activate a cardiac emergency response team during an emergency; plan for effective and efficient communication throughout the school campus; incorporate emergency response agencies with the school's plan, and review the response plan yearly.

Schools that include grades 9-12 also must have a training plan for using AEDs.

The new rules will go into effect for the 2025-26 school year.