After VA Girl’s Death, Stricter School CPR Guidelines Proposed

*8News Reporter Amy Aubert talks with a local CPR expert about why it's so important to become trained and certified…watch her report at 5:30 for information that could save you or a family member, only on 8News.*

Stafford, VA—After a girl collapsed at her middle school and later died, a lawmaker is proposing a bill which would allow school districts to require students to receive CPR certification before graduating.

12-year-old Gwyneth Griffin was born with a heart valve problem, which was checked regularly, according to ABC affiliate WJLA. On June 8, after running one lap around the track at her school, A.G. Wright Middle School, Gwyneth collapsed.

The girl's parents say a teacher called 911, but no one administered CPR to their child for 10 minutes after her collapse.

Other students alerted Gwyneth's father, Joel Griffin, who was visiting the school at the time of his daughter's sudden collapse. He ran to the track and administered CPR, bringing Gwyneth's pulse back. Doctors treated the girl's heart and lungs, and after a month, took her off life support.

But shortly after this time, doctors revealed devastating results of an MRI to Gwyneth's parents: during the minutes after her collapse, Gwyneth's brain had been severely damaged by loss of oxygen.

Two moths later, with “no cognitive ability…no ability to speak” and completely blind, Gwyneth's parents say she died.

Now, Delegate L. Mark Dudenhefer is proposing a bill which would allow school boards to require students to receive training in emergency first aid, CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) before graduating. First-time ninth grade students in the 2014-2015 school year would be the first to be impacted by this bill, if passed.

Presently, the state of Virginia requires that two staff members at every school be CPR and defibrillator trained. There are currently five staff members at each Stafford school who are CPR trained.

The bill, dubbed HB 2028, would also hold the same requirements for bus drivers, people seeking teacher licensure or renewal of a teacher's license. Each school would also see an increase in personnel with CPR training.

The Griffins want the county to provide routine, mandatory CPR training and certification for not only teachers, but all Stafford County Schools staff members, including cafeteria staff, bus drivers and administrators.

A.G. Wright Middle School says it is willing to work with the family, and read their proposed changes.

Stay with 8News for updates.


Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond 

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