Sudden cardiac arrests are a national health crisis that affects Americans of all ages and gender. Taking aside that every 40 seconds, there is a heart attack somewhere in the United States, the fact that out-of-hospital arrests have a barely 10% survival rate increases the alarming situation.
The situation is not so different in Old Bay State, as the death rate from strokes is around 26.8, CHD is 65.6, and the rate for CVD deaths is 171.8. Some professionals have brought up the importance of performing bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) within the first minutes of the tragic event to lower these high rates.
New bills and legislation were presented before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health. In this article, we’ll review the state CPR guidelines for Maccashusets as well as the main technicalities for getting employed with a CPR certificate in Old Bay State.
Professions That Require CPR Certification in Massachusetts
Considering the alarming rates of sudden cardiac arrest in the USA increased by the fact that heart diseases are one of the top 3 causes of death nationwide, US states have increased their standards concerning workplace safety.
For that instance, the state of Massachusetts has made hands-on CPR mandatory for obtaining a career in the following industries:
- Preschool care
- Senior care (nursing homes, at-home services)
- Special care facilities
- Security services
- Police and firemen (field workers)
- Athletic coaches and instructors
- Pool, beach, and swimming facilities
- Social workers
- Prison jobs
The list is not full, since each institution is authorized to improvise and set their job ads accordingly to their specific needs. However, to avoid legal liability and further higher costs, the common practice is for employment institutions to align their needs and services according to the basic OSHA requirements in the field.
Massachusets CPR Legislation for Healthcare Providers
Nationwide, healthcare providers and professional medical workers must have the highest level of CPR certification, which is level D.
According to the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), healthcare providers must maintain a valid CPR certificate that aside from the basic knowledge, includes the practical skill evaluation component. This is obtained through the mandatory 2-year round recertification requirement.
This requirement has been confirmed by The Massachuset Department of Public Health, instructing the Massachusetts Office of EMS to require their current or potential employees with practical skill component-backed courses approved by CAPCE.
In that manner, 100% online CPR certification is usually not accepted; only in some specific cases, depending on the specific requirements of the employing institution, can it be approved as a regular CPR certificate.
CPR courses are offered by numerous providers in Massachusetts. But before choosing one, make sure to check their certification’s validity and correspondence to the unified certificates offered by the AHA and the American Red Cross.
Mandatory CPR Certification for Child Care Providers
The government of Massachusetts made CPR certification mandatory for all childcare workers by allowing the Department of Early Education and Care to ask all educators to complete a CPR and first aid course. The goal of this was to increase the safety of children in child care, as a vulnerable category of the population.
Similar to CPR certification in healthcare, the practical aspect of chest compressions when performing infant CPR is crucial. These courses also teach basic rescue breathing techniques to childcare workers of all levels. Institutions recognized by the Massachusets Government as credible to conduct training and authorize certification in the field are:
- The American Red Cross
- Heart Savers
Massachusets CPR Requirements for Coaches
According to the General Laws (section 1, section 47 A of chapter 71), all Massachusetts coaches in schooling facilities must have a valid certificate in CPR, obtained from AHA or the American Red Cross, and approved by the Department of Public Health.
Moreover, the school district is not responsible for organizing CPR certification for the job position, meaning that the applicant for this job will have to undergo a CPR course paid for by themselves. Coaches with some type of physical disability are exempt from this requirement.
CPR Recertification in Massachusetts
CPR recertification is a common practice, and the average period needed for renewing your CPR certificate across the US is 2 years.
Some specific institutions might mandate a shorter time period, but what’s relevant in the field is that recertification can be obtained online. This means that, unlike the rule for first-time certification courses where you need to take the CPR class either in-person or through hybrid (online + classroom) classes, when it comes to renewal of the certificate, you can do it online.
Massachusetts is one of the states where mandatory teaching of CPR is not enforced. This also means that students don’t have to pass those classes in order to graduate from high school. What’s more, before 2010, there were no AEDs in schools.
However, one particular event that resulted in the death of a high school football player proved CPR alone can’t always work effectively. For that reason, in 2014, the government of Massachusetts signed Michael’s Law.
This law states that all schools in the state need to have a medical emergency response plan and an AED placed in a visible place.
The Massachusetts Bill to Increase SCA Survival Rate
In most cases, bystander CPR and on-the-phone medical advice by professionals are of great assistance, especially if there’s no automated external defibrillator (AED) available on the scene. However, that is not so simple in Massachusetts.
The state of Massachusetts has a lower survival rate in sudden cardiac arrests compared to the national average (which is around 8%-10%), which is mostly due to the 911 call transferring protocol.
Namely, in Massachusetts, 911 phone calls generated through a cell phone are first sent to the Massachusetts State Police dispatch center before being transferred to the right place. Only then will they either provide on-the-phone medical advice or directly send an ambulance vehicle or emergency medical services (EMS) on-scene.
This complexity in the connection slows down the reaction time. Police dispatchers are not always trained to give CPR advice because not all police workers are demanded to have a valid CPR certificate – only field police workers are. Adding to this the fact that the average EMS response time in local areas is 7 minutes (or 14 minutes in rural areas), a cardiac arrest or suffocating victim can be long dead before the medical team arrives.
Thus the new Massachusetts legislature in the field suggests that every emergency telecommunicator must be trained to provide on-the-phone CPR instructions to bystanders. Moreover, the bill backed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the State Senator requires more defibrillator machines, which will be placed in public spaces (malls, public squares, parks) to increase the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest victims in the state of Massachusetts.
The Importance Of Raising The Bar On CPR Certification
Research conducted by America’s Health Rankings puts the state of Massachusetts as one of the healthiest states on the continent. However, the concerning fact of lower-than-usual survival rates among cardiac arrest patients is alarming and raises the bar on CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation breathing practices for all citizens.
Though CPR certification was suggested to become mandatory for all students in Massachusetts with a bill in 2017, this act is yet to be adopted into law. Similarly to this, incorporating further requirements in the workplace is of crucial meaning.
Giving people a chance to learn this life-saving technique raises the common ability of more citizens to assist with basic hands-on CPR and chest compressions in dire situations, which may result in saving someone’s life.