NJ Pushes AED Legislation

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale that would require schools, recreational departments and youth camps to have automated external defibrillators (AED) for youth athletic events was unanimously approved today by the Senate Education Committee.

The bill is an attempt to reduce the number of youth athletes who die from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) – a condition where the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and stops pumping blood to the rest of the body, often without any visible symptoms.

“In the US, an estimated 7,000 children die each year from sudden cardiac arrest with student athletes two to three times more likely to suffer and die from this silent killer,” said Vitale (D-Middlesex). “By simply having an automated external defibrillator on hand at sporting events and practices and training coaches and staff to properly use these life-saving devices, these deaths could be prevented.”

The bill, S-157, would require that both public and nonpublic kindergarten through twelfth grade schools have an AED available within reasonable proximity of the athletic field or gym where school-sponsored events and team practices take place and that an on-site coach or other staff member is trained in CPR and to use an AED. All municipal or county recreation departments, nonprofit youth-serving organizations and youth camps must also have an AED accessible to athletic events and practices with at least one umpire, coach, counselor or staff member trained in CPR and use of an AED. A state-certified emergency services provider or other first responder could fulfill this requirement.

Read more: http://njtoday.net/2012/01/23/senate-committee-advances-bill-to-protect-child-athletes-from-sudden-cardiac-arrest/#ixzz1nA6HkmrD
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