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CPR in the Spotlight

Two members of the House are hoping to draw more attention and money to the cause of helping students learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., a former school nurse, and Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., introduced HR 4506, dubbed the "Teaching Our Students To Save Lives Act," on May 19.

The bill would authorize $10 million over two years to pay for teacher training and supplies, such as mannequins, to begin CPR training as early as 6th grade. Ms. Capps' spokeswoman, Stacie Paxton, said the congresswoman introduced the legislation in response to teachers who had told her that they would like to teach CPR but that their schools couldn't pay for it.

Rep. Lois Capps

"Teaching students the life-saving skill of CPR may improve their confidence in responding to emergency situations and encourage them to seek further training in the future," Ms. Capps said at a news conference announcing the legislation. "As a school nurse, I saw a real need to teach students these life- saving skills."

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with about 250,000 people dying of cardiac arrest each year.

Ms. Capps' husband, Rep. Walter H. Capps, died of a heart attack in 1997, and she won his congressional seat in a special election the next year.

Ms. Capps and Mr. Foley are also co- chairs of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, which seeks to educate people and increase awareness about these health problems.

The American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and National Education Association support HR 4506, which has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Joetta L. Sackfeder[email protected]

Vol. 19, Issue 38, Page 22

Published in Print: May 31, 2000, as Federal File

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