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Kids hold the key as future life-savers using new CPR method

If it was up to Jennifer Stafford, a registered nurse at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, every student in Oregon would learn to perform hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as a gym full of seventh-graders did one recent day at Tualatin's Hazelbrook Middle School. The Middle School Healthy Hearts program -- part education, part research project -- coincides with a legislative effort which, if passed, would require every Oregon high school student to be trained in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators before they graduate.

Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center staff and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighters are continuing their joint effort to train a new generation of life-savers as 1,300 middle school students in the South Metro area learn about the diet and exercise required to keep their hearts healthy, how to recognize signs of a heart attack and how to act quickly in an emergency.

A handful of states already have requirements similar to those Senate Bill 275 would dictate and many others are working toward a similar goal. In Oregon, such a graduation requirement would ensure that each year more than 45,000 students would be prepared to administer CPR in an emergency.

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