What Are the State CPR Guidelines for Texas?

Heart diseases are the number 1 cause of death among the Texas population, according to the latest data from the CDC (from 2017). This is followed by cancer as number two and stroke in third place. Out of all cardiac arrests which occur outside of hospitals, only a small number of patients (25%-30%) experience ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) or return of pulse, according to leading Texas EMS data

Since the mortality rate in case of a sudden cardiac arrest increases every minute when there’s no proper care and resuscitation, a bystander’s CPR assistance can be of immense meaning. Thus, the importance of CPR training and certification plays an integral part in legislation and policy.

As states are allowed to regulate this matter on their own, Texas has placed some CPR guidelines that have to be followed throughout its territory.

Which Jobs Require A Valid CPR Certificate in Texas?

CPR certification is mandatory for healthcare providers and other medical professionals, according to the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). Professionals working in the emergency medical services (EMS) in Texas must also have valid CPR certification to obtain a job in the field.

The training for this technique must be provided within a nationally-accredited institution, such as the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, or maybe even an institute of academic foundation certified to give out the lessons.

Recently, CPR training has grown to become one of the societal standards in Texas. That being said, some of the most common professions requiring a valid CPR certificate in the state of Texas include the following:

  • Childcare workers and kindergartens
  • Teachers and other school staff
  • Construction workers
  • Pilots
  • Forestry employees
  • Lifeguards
  • Flight attendants
  • Hotel staff
  • Eectricianrs
  • Security personnel
  • Restaurant and service staff
  • Employees in adult foster care and other caregivers

Texas CPR Guidelines for Schools and Graduation

In 2013, the state of Texas amended the Education Code with the so-called Edmund Kuempel Act. Namely, a CPR course is required at least once in grades 7-12 as a prerequisite to graduating from high school. According to the Texas Education Code and the Texas State Board of Education, first aid and using an automatic defibrillator (AED) are not mandatory.

This act applies to every student in Texas that has enrolled in high school in the school years 2010-2011 and thereafter, even though the effect of the act’s effect began for the 2014-2015 school year.

The bill also states that although numerous institutions and organizations offer practice and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and certification to meet the graduation requirements, only a nationally-recognized institution can give the lessons. In this case, the only institutions at the time who have such authority are the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

In specific cases where the schools will incorporate CPR training within their curriculum, the content and intensity of the course are left for the school to manage and organize. However, since CPR is a hands-on psychomotor skill, basic cognitive learning, which isn’t backed up with appropriate practical training, will not be accepted.

So, to put it simply, in order to graduate in the state of Texas, it’s mandatory to have obtained at least one of the following basic CPR training:

Student CPR Certification (Awareness Level)Community CPR Certification
Needed Supplies and Equipment MaterialsAdult MannequinInfant and Adult Mannequin + AED Trainer
Initial Training Time20-30 minutes4-5 hours
Visiting Online Courses1 hour + 20 minutes test1 hour + 20 minutes test
Hands-On / Practise Time5-10 minutes20-25 minutes
Certification IncludedNoYes (valid for only 2 years)

Usually the CPR training in schools in Texas focuses on the importance and memorization of the CBA sequence, as well as the importance of chest compressions before mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

AED Use in Schools

The use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) is also to be instructed every school year, and certain individuals must be present:

  • School nurses and their assistants
  • Athletic coaches
  • Physical educators and instructors
  • Marching band directors
  • Cheerleading coaches
  • Each student that serves as an athlete or athletic trainer

Texas CPR Certification for The Ones in Need

The state of Texas has included separate regulations for CPR certification for those who are working with people in need of specific help and assistance. In Texas, there are two separate programs within the field: the DBMD program and the CLASS program. Below we elaborate more on both of them.

The DBMD Program (Deaf, Blind With Multiple Disabilities)

The DBMD Texas program provides community-based and homing services to citizens who, aside from being deaf or blind, have multiple other disabilities. It is a cheaper and more effective alternative than putting these people in special care institutions. 

When it comes to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for these people, every medical assistant or other person working closely in their vicinity or with them must follow different CPR regulations.

The CLASS Program

CLASS is an abbreviation that stands for Community Living Assistance and Support Services. It provides homing and community-based services for people with an intellectual disability or a related condition that originated before the individual turned 22 and is seriously hardening their everyday surviving potentials and functions. 

In terms of CPR requirements, all institutions that tend to list as providers for such special care services are closely regulated. Each and single one of their employees must hold a valid CPR certificate and choking prevention at the time of getting hired.

Recertification in the field is shorter than the nationwide standard 2-year deadline – it is mandatory every other year, according to the Texas Administrative Code.  

Moreover, the Texas code regulates that CPR and choking prevention courses shall be finalized with a written test, which is common to be taken online. But in order to be granted a valid certificate in the field, an in-person evaluator and a qualified instructor following the practical procedure topping the online training are also mandatory. They can be autonomous CPR professionals who aren’t required to be employed in the institution which acts as a CPR service provider.

Texas Heart Institute and AHA Guidelines for Sudden Cardiac Arrests

Following the updated AHA guidelines, in case of emergency and cardiac arrest, the first instance is, without a doubt, calling 911. If possible, in cases of sudden cardiac arrest in the state of Texas, a bystander should find an AED to use. If not, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be actively performed (following the 30:2 compression-rescue breaths ratios) at least until the EMS or paramedics arrive at the scene. 

It’s important to note that you can’t be liable for the death of a sudden cardiac arrest victim, as there are provisions named the Good Samaritan Law that ensure that. So everyone who knows how to perform chest compressions or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should try to help a victim suffering cardiac arrest or choking to buy time and increase their chances of survival.

Final Thoughts on CPR Regulation in Texas

A study conducted solely for the state of Texas has stated that in 5,369 OHCAs from 13 different communities in Texas, more than 43% were assisted with proper CPR by a bystander. This only shows that the citizens of Texas are aware of CPR and that providing mandatory CPR in schools and in many other employment opportunities has increased the overall chances of survival of the average Texas citizen. 

This state is equipped with strong pro-CPR regulations, alongside the numerous public AED placements, allowing anyone who is knowledgeable in the CPR method to lend a helping hand. Starting with chest compressions and knowing when to incorporate rescue breathing is highly important, which is why Texas places emphasis on this matter from a young age.