Madden bill to prevent sudden cardiac arrest among young athletes signed into law

From: The New Jersey Senate Democrats

Legislation sponsored by Senator Fred Madden (D – Gloucester/Camden) that would help prevent sudden cardiac arrest among student athletes was signed into law today. The bill, S-1912, entitled the “Scholastic Student Athlete Safety Act,” would establish advance screening methods for students in grades six to 12 who participate in interscholastic or intramural sports to identify heart conditions that could cause sudden death.

“In this day and age, it is simply irresponsible to have students engaging in physical activity without knowing about underlying medical conditions that may put them at heightened risk of heart failure,” said Senator Madden. “When the health of our children is at stake, we must strive to use the most comprehensive screening measures possible. We have an obligation to protect the safety of our student athletes, and this law will help save lives throughout the state of New Jersey.”

The law requires student athletes in public and private schools to be examined for heart conditions that could cause sudden cardiac arrest. The exam will include a Pre-participation Physical Evaluation Form, developed jointly by the six major American medical societies. In addition, the law directs the Commissioner of Education to develop a pamphlet that provides information about sudden cardiac arrest, a description of early warning signs, and an overview of screening options. The pamphlet will be distributed to student athletes and their parents as a part of the student’s pre-participation examination and completion of athletic permission forms.

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