What Are the State CPR Guidelines in Ohio?

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Every year, over 350,000 people in the United States experience cardiac arrest outside of hospital settings. Shockingly, only about 10% of these individuals survive. This stark statistic highlights a critical gap in public health knowledge and preparedness regarding bystander CPR.

The survival rate could significantly increase if more individuals were trained and knowledgeable in the lifesaving technique of CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). Most people simply don’t know how to perform chest compression, and others aren’t sure of the rules and regulations for giving CPR to a stranger in need.

So, what are the state CPR guidelines in Ohio? In this post, we’ll review the state’s CPR guidelines, reinforcing the importance of being prepared to act in a cardiac emergency.

CPR Training and Education

The state has taken significant steps to ensure its residents, particularly those in educational settings, are well-versed in this lifesaving skill. The legislation concerning CPR training in schools has set a precedent for other states to follow, emphasizing the importance of this skill from an early age. This move has increased awareness and equipped students with the confidence and ability to act in emergencies, potentially saving lives within their communities.

CPR Training Required For Graduation

Like many other U.S. states, Ohio has also passed a bill that makes CPR training mandatory for high school graduation. This legislation means that before students can put on their caps and gowns, they must know how to perform CPR. In these classes, students learn the fundamentals of CPR, including chest compressions and rescue breathing.

They also receive training in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which can be crucial in the event of a cardiac arrest. By integrating this training into the high school curriculum, Ohio ensures its young people are prepared for graduation and life’s unexpected challenges.

Coaches Must Know CPR

The state mandates that all school coaches must be CPR-certified. Given the physical demands of sports and the potential for accidents or sudden health issues, this requirement is both sensible and necessary. Coaches are often the first on the scene when a player is injured or experiences a health crisis, making their ability to perform CPR an invaluable asset.

This certification ensures that coaches can provide immediate care and foster a safe sporting environment, reducing the risk of tragic outcomes from cardiac incidents. That’s why Ohio also enacted the Lindsay’s law, requiring all participants in sporting activities, students, coaches, and parents to be informed about the signs of SCA.

Preschool Teachers

The focus on CPR training extends beyond the school system. Ohio also requires that school staff working with preschool-age children be CPR-certified. This regulation acknowledges the unique challenges and responsibilities of caring for young children. It prepares educators and caregivers to respond effectively to emergencies, whether a child is choking or experiencing a health crisis.

The Ohio Department of Education requires each staff member to know how to administer first aid and do CPR appropriate for the age group they are responsible for. If they don’t currently have a CPR certificate, educators must get one 90 days after starting the job.

CPR Certification for Healthcare Professionals

CPR certification is a standard requirement for healthcare professionals, including those working in Ohio. It ensures that all healthcare workers possess the necessary skills to respond to cardiac emergencies, potentially saving lives. For healthcare professionals, being certified means they are prepared to perform CPR in various settings, from hospitals to public places, effectively bridging the gap until advanced medical help can arrive.

Different levels of CPR certification are available, tailored to the diverse roles within the healthcare industry:

    • Basic Life Support (BLS) is typically required for nurses

    • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) might be necessary for doctors, especially those in emergency or cardiac care units

These certifications need to be renewed periodically, ensuring that healthcare professionals stay updated with the latest CPR techniques and guidelines. However, other professions also require CPR certification.

EMS Workers and Paramedics

Similarly, Emergency Medical Services workers and paramedics are required to have CPR certification, often at a more advanced level. Given their role as first responders, EMS workers must be proficient in performing CPR and using automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Their certification ensures they are equipped to handle cardiac emergencies, providing the best possible chance for survival until the patient can be transported to a medical facility. For EMS workers, CPR is an essential skill they may need to use at any moment, under various conditions, to save lives.


Dispatchers must be CPR-certified to effectively instruct callers on how to perform CPR in emergencies. This requirement is critical because, in many cases, the dispatcher’s guidance is the victim’s immediate lifeline until emergency services arrive.

Dispatchers must be ready and know how to give adequate CPR instructions to untrained individuals over the phone. They need to tell callers how to:

    • Check for signs of consciousness

    • Make sure the scene is secure

    • Check for breathing and a pulse

    • Give chest compressions

    • Find and use an AED

    • Give basic first aid

Good Samaritan Laws in Ohio

Ohio also has Good Samaritan Laws, which are designed to provide legal protection to individuals who offer assistance during emergencies, particularly those performing CPR on someone in distress. In essence, these laws are put in place to encourage you to act without fear of legal repercussions if you’re trying to help someone in need, especially in life-threatening situations.

However, you need to understand that this protection applies as long as your actions are:

    • Done in good faith

    • Done voluntarily out of your own free will

    • Done without expectation of compensation or reward

That means that if you’re trained in CPR and you come across someone who needs emergency assistance, you can step in and provide that critical help, knowing that the law has your back.

Legal Protection in Case of Overdose

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to call 911 to report an overdose, and you happen to have a small amount of illegal substances on you or in your system, you’re protected from prosecution. This aspect of the law aims to prioritize saving lives over penalizing individuals for drug possession in emergency scenarios.

However, you should be aware that this protection isn’t limitless. It can only be invoked twice, underscoring the law’s intention to save lives while still discouraging drug use. This limitation stresses the importance of seeking help and rehabilitation after an overdose incident to prevent future occurrences.

Getting CPR Certified in Ohio

Ohio’s CPR guidelines clearly understand the vital role of this technique in saving lives. These regulations are implemented to ensure the general public and healthcare professionals have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform CPR effectively.

Ohio demonstrates its commitment to promoting health and safety within its communities by setting specific requirements for CPR certification and training. As a resident of Ohio, you have a unique opportunity to contribute positively to this effort. Getting trained in CPR equips you with the ability to act confidently in emergencies and positions you as a valuable resource in your community.

So, if you haven’t already, consider taking the step to get CPR certified. It’s a straightforward way to make a significant difference in the lives of those around you.