(WHTM)– A local organization is calling on lawmakers to pass a life-saving bill, it would make the safety of student-athletes a priority.
The bill would put a lifesaving AED in or near all school sporting venues and make sure a person trained in CPR is available.
“It’s important that they make the schools a place where every life can be safe,” the Medical Director of Youth Heart Watch at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Dr. Victoria Vetter said.
Smart Heart Coalition is pushing for Lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 375. It would require at least one AED in each school building and each sport or practice event.
“This bill is not just for athletes it’s for all of them so it’s very important that they’re trained or somebody on site is trained because cardiac emergencies can happen at any point so it’s just good to have that on hand,” Relations Director, American Heart Association Brad Cary, Government said.
The bill also requires all schools to have: an athletic emergency action plan posted, rehearsed, and updated annually. Clearly marked AEDs must also be at each venue or within minutes of each venue, along with CPR education, and AED training for coaches.
“What we do at the hospital is important but what the public does and what happens in the school and outside of the hospital is very important so if we can prevent people from even needing to come to a hospital then that’s critical,” Dr. Vetter said.
This bill provides life-saving support to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, which was put into the spotlight when Damar Hamlin collapsed during a Buffalo Bills game last season.
“Everyone knows how to recognize a sudden cardiac arrest and the steps are very simple you call 911 you start CPR, and you use an AED so-called push shock,” Vetter said.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 75% of young athlete-related deaths are due to sudden cardiac arrest, which is why a big push exists to pass this bill.