AED and CPR training: Timing is everything

June 18, 2014 

Your recent editorial, "Great, another state mandate," about mandatory AED and CPR training in Illinois schools appeared just three days after an AED was used to save the life of Nick Atterberry, a high school athlete from Central Illinois. The editorial, like the use of life-saving AEDs, proves that timing is everything.

The new measure signed by Gov. Pat Quinn is known as Lauren's Law.

In 2008 during a high school practice, Lauren Laman collapsed from cardiac arrest. An AED was available but not used because those nearby weren't prepared to help. After losing his daughter, George Laman, a paramedic, realized the need for CPR and AED training in high schools across Illinois.

It is unfair to characterize students as not ready to handle real-life situations where they could make a difference. Experts agree that defibrillator training will save lives. Teaching these skills in school increases the number of people who can take action in case of an emergency at school, on the playing field or at home.

Nick Atterberry was fortunate that a trainer with AED and CPR experience was on the scene to help him during his recent situation.

Ask any teen what they would prefer: having the ability to save a life using training from high school, or standing by helplessly as a friend suffers because they don't know how to administer CPR or use an AED.

By ensuring more people are trained to act, Lauren's Law will give those in need of emergency assistance a better chance to survive.

Katie Hickey

Spokesperson, Office of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

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