Edie Brous
Nurse Attorney
118 East 28th Street
Room 404
New York, NY 10016
Tel. (212) 989-5469
Fax. (646) 349-5355

Web Site:

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In 1975, Susanne Latessa and I co-wrote a nursing school paper called, “Resusci Annie Goes to the Prom.” It was an analysis of survival rates among people who experienced cardiac arrest outside of a health care setting. We compared survival rates with bystander-initiated CPR to survival rates where bystanders waited for an ambulance. We recommended that basic life support training be included in the high school curriculum and that graduation require successful completion of a CPR course. We also argued that all educational facilities should have first-responder training for faculty, athletic directors, and coaches and that all public facilities should have at least one CPR trained person available. We made these arguments in the 1970s.

In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics published the 2001 Guidelines for Emergency Medical Care in School: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/107/2/435 The importance of the school nurse was emphasized along with recommendations similar to those Susanne and I had made.

In 2003, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation recommended that CPR be included in the high school curriculum in The Need for Change: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/108/20/2575.full

In 2004, the American Heart Association published a scientific statement making the same recommendations that Susanne and I had made as student nurses, Response to Cardiac Arrest and Selected Life-threatening Medical Emergencies: http://cpr.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@ecc/documents/downloadable/ucm_425826.pdf

In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a position statement, Importance and Implementation of Training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillation in Schools, in which the same recommendation was made: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/circulationaha/123/6/691.full.pdf

Despite all these recommendations and the advent of AEDs, schools still do not require this, even though they are cutting back on the best life-saver there can be – the school nurse. I wrote a newsletter in February about the critical need for nurses in our schools and just last month received a heart-breaking email from a school nurse in Savannah. Lisa Wilson lost her son Cory to what was believed to be a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. He was only 21 years old. This school nurse who spent her career saving other people’s children, lost her own precious child in a classroom. No one started CPR and no AED was immediately available and this was in 2013 – it is simply incomprehensible.

No parent should lose a child to the lack of CPR training, the lack of a school nurse, or the lack of an available AED. There is no excuse for this tragedy or others like it. I urge all nurses to support Lisa Wilson in her efforts to educate the public on this issue and to fight for legislation that can save lives. We are making strides but as of June this year, only 31 states require CPR training in public schools and there remains no federal requirement for AEDs. We need a “Cory’s Law” that requires CPR, AEDs and Heimlich maneuver training. Listen to Cory’s story: https://vimeo.com/130500404. Then dry your tears and take a deep breath. Then write to your elected officials.
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Copyright © 2016, Edie Brous, Esq. PC