Madden Legislation Establishing Statewide Database on Children's Sudden Cardiac Events Signed Into Law

From: Politicker NJ

Legislation sponsored by Senator Fred Madden (D – Gloucester, Camden) that would require the reporting of children’s sudden  cardiac events and establish a statewide database to keep track of such  information was signed into law today.

“Collecting data about sudden cardiac events is the  next step in our ongoing fight to raise awareness about the dangers and warning  signs of cardiac arrest,” said Senator Madden. “With thousands of young people  dying from cardiac conditions each year, we can no longer wait to combat this  medical epidemic. A centralized registry of this information will allow us to  make better and smarter decisions concerning our children’s health.”

The legislation, S-1911/A-3047, also known as the “Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Reporting Act,” requires a health care  professional who makes the diagnosis of a sudden cardiac event in a child under  19 years old or who makes the actual determination and pronouncement of the  death of a child, as applicable, to report the event to the Department of Health  and Senior Services (DHSS). Further, the law establishes the Children’s Sudden  Cardiac Events Registry in DHSS. The registry will include a record of all  sudden cardiac events reported and any other information that DHSS deems  relevant and appropriate.

The legislation also directs Commissioner of Health  and Senior Services to establish an eleven-member Children’s Sudden Cardiac  Events Review Board in the DHSS to review and evaluate the information collected  in the registry. The board is authorized to study any other relevant data that  may supplement the reported information. Under the law, the board will be  comprised of the Commissioners of Health and Senior Services, Children and  Families, and Education, or their designees, and eight appointed members of the  public representing various health and advocacy groups.

“Establishing a task force to examine issues related  to cardiac conditions in children was a promising first step, but we also have a  duty to carry out their recommendations through actual policy and legislation,” said Senator Madden. “The task force’s findings offer great insight into ways  that we can improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of sudden cardiac  events. This bill is one way that we can make these recommendations a reality  and prevent the tragic death of young people at risk.”

In 2009, the Legislature responded to concern over a  growing number of sudden deaths in student athletes by passing Senator Madden’s  legislation establishing the task force. The task force was given the  responsibility of studying, evaluating and developing recommendations relating  to specific actionable measures to enhance screening of student athletes for  hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other life-threatening cardiac  conditions.

The measure is just one of a series of bills  sponsored by Senator Madden that were inspired by recommendations made by the  New Jersey Student Athlete Cardiac Screening Task Force, which officially issued  its report in April 2012 on how to prevent sudden cardiac death in student  athletes between the ages of 12 and 19.

Additional legislation he has sponsored include:  S1912, which would update the pre-participation history and physical examination  form and ensure all healthcare professionals who conduct pre-participation  histories and physical examinations of student athletes are properly licensed;  and S2461, which would expand medical examinations for all children to include  questions evaluating the child’s cardiovascular disease risk. 

The General Assembly approved the legislation in June  with a vote  of 75-0. It  unanimously cleared the full Senate last October. The law goes into effect  seventh months following the date of enactment.