The State of Colorado enacted Colorado House Bill 22-1251 on July 1, 2022, legally established the country’s first national sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) data monitoring office. The purpose of this office is to assist the state in collecting extensive data on SCA, as well as increasing awareness and improving survival rates.
The Centennial State has the lowest heart disease rate of all USA states. In other words, a mere 4.1% of the population suffers from myocardial infarction or coronary heart disease.
On the other hand, Colorado allows individuals the freedom in making decisions about their health and medical conditions. This article will cover the general AED and CPR guidelines for Colorado that you may find helpful.
Colorado Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Regulations
According to Colorado law, all individuals have the right to receive medical treatment, as well as the right to refuse it. Namely, anyone who can make decisions independently or has an authorized agent can refer to the CPR Directive. This gives them the right to refuse to receive CPR.
CPR incorporates, but is not restricted to:
- Chest compressions
- Artificial ventilation
- Rescue breathing
- Administering an electric shock
- Placement of a tube in the airway to help with breathing
- Other principal and advanced resuscitative treatments.
In other words, these directives regulate the individual’s refusal to receive CPR treatment, such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chemical and mechanical stimulation, in situations where they are not breathing, or their heart has stopped beating.
That said, a CPR Directive must involve the following:
- Name, sex, date of birth, hair and eye color, ethnic/race background;
- If the person is involved in a hospice program, they must include its name;
- The instruction on CPR administration on the individual;
- The signature of an individual or a representative authorized by them;
- The date when the individual or an authorized representative signed the CPR Directive;
- Basic information about the attending physician, such as their name, telephone number, address, and signature;
- A signed written declaration on the decision to donate tissue after the patient’s death.
Individuals can make their medical care wishes known in several ways, but not all may be valid. One of the best solutions is to produce a legal document that will include their treatment wishes. The wishes are more likely to be fulfilled if presented in a legally binding written document.
On the other hand, individuals and authorized agents can revoke the CPR Directive at any time.
If emergency medical services (EMS) personnel follow the CPR Directive in good faith, they will not be subject to criminal or civil criminal liability or legal sanctions for their actions.
Jobs That Require CPR Certification in Colorado
In addition to medical professionals, lifeguards, and EMS personnel, jobs that require a CPR certificate are:
- Instructors in water-related activities, like rowing and diving;
- People who do jobs related to youth sports and athletics, like personal fitness trainers and coaches;
- People who work in construction, logistics, retail, and other professions where it is necessary to provide emergency medical assistance to co-workers, clients, or customers;
- Police and prison officers, security guards, firefighters;
- People who work with children, like nannies, babysitters, and daycare workers;
- Professionals and volunteers whose jobs are associated with the disabled or elderly, like social workers, charity volunteers, or in-facility/in-house companions;
- The employees of the educational institution who are related to children, like teachers, administration, maintenance, and support staff;
- Members of the medical or dental office who work at the reception and who have contact with patients.
Individuals in Colorado must renew their CPR certificate every two years, and the training program must comply with AHA and OSHA standards.
CPR Guidelines for Colorado High Schools and Students
Although taking the CPR exam is not mandatory for high school students, the same cannot be said for school staff. Namely, at least one member of the staff must have a standard CPR and first aid certificate.
And while it is often unclear if it applies to student-specific situations, this requirement is not applicable in certain circumstances involving individual student activities. These activities include using district buses as transportation or attending individual practice or other programs during school hours.
The guidelines suggest that if a group of students is part of a volunteering project organized and sponsored by the school, CPR-certified staff members are needed.
CPR Training Grants
According to House Bill 14-1276, all local education providers are eligible to apply for grants, which they would use to give CPR and AED instructions to students, grades 9-12, and school staff.
CPR training does not have to cover adult, child, and infant CPR. However, it must include a practical training component.
Schools can use these grants to purchase training materials and supplies and pay for CPR trainers. Since these grants are only a recommendation, the course’s content and implementation are left to the district’s discretion.
At the same time, the Department of Public Health and Environment provides grants to non-profit organizations amounting to $15,000. These organizations must use these funds to purchase and install AED devices in public places.
Colorado Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Guidelines
Although Colorado schools are not required to obtain an AED, they are encouraged to do so. Moreover, if schools receive AEDs as donations, they must accept them. Here are other rules that apply to using AEDs in schools:
- All school districts are encouraged to obtain and place an AED in public schools and sports facilities within the school district.
- All AEDs procured by the school district must be tailored for use on adults and children.
- Schools are restricted from using AED devices outside school property and events.
Owners and users of automated external defibrillators must complete a nationally recognized course in CPR and AED. They must possess written plans approved by a licensed medical practitioner. These plans should also include AED installation, maintenance, training, emergency medical services coordination, medical oversight, and a list of authorized individuals for AED use.
AED owners should maintain their devices following the manufacturer’s instructions. After using an automatic external defibrillator for emergency intervention in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, device owners must notify emergency medical services about it as soon as possible.
Persons or entities who are not healthcare professionals and who provide emergency care using an AED device in good faith and without reimbursement won’t be subject to civil damages.
As anticipated by the Colorado CPR and AED guidelines, all individuals have the right to refuse medical treatment as long as they can make decisions independently or have an authorized agent.
These CPR Directives can be communicated differently based on the personal choice of the individual. It can be a written legal document, a verified handwritten note, or wearing a “No CPR” necklace or bracelet.
Where high schools are concerned, Colorado does not require students to pass a CPR test to graduate. However, the law does require that at least one school board member has a CPR certificate. After all, schools are busy areas where any training can be helpful, especially since children’s lives are at stake.
The schools are eligible to apply for a grant to provide CPR and AED instructions to students in grades 9 through 12 and school staff. They can also use this money to buy CPR training materials and AED devices or pay for CPR instructors.
With all the available possibilities the Colorado state provides to help a person in need and possibly save a life, it’s recommended that people get CPR training and certification immediately.