RALEIGH – High school students will soon be required to complete CPR training before graduating.
Gov. Bev Perdue is expected to sign a bill Thursday that would make it mandatory for schools to maintain documentation that students have successfully completed the instruction.
CPR educators say if more people know CPR, more lives can be saved and they believe getting students trained while in school could help someone in an emergency situation.
According to the American Heart Association, a person's chance of survival during an incident like cardiac arrest decreases 10 percent for every minute that passes, and less than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital live.
Advocates for the bill say knowing CPR becomes crucial in the moments waiting for emergency medical crews to respond.
"Over 360,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. It's a very time-dependent process that occurs. If you don't get something done for that very quickly, then this individual is not going to survive," said Todd Baker, a volunteer with the American Heart Association.
Under the new bill, schools would have until the 2014-2015 school year to make the training a high school graduation requirement.
North Carolina is one of only five states to enact this legislation.