Federal Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Increase Students’ Access to AEDs

On March 29, U.S. House Reps. Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Access to AEDs Act, bipartisan legislation that would help address sudden cardiac arrest in athletes by creating a federal grant program for elementary and secondary schools to purchase, maintain and provide training for AEDs. This legislation encourages the creation of athlete screening programs, and the ACC successfully encouraged the bill authors to ensure such programs are in accordance with applicable ACC/American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.

Damar Hamlin’s sudden cardiac arrest earlier this year shocked our nation and demonstrated in no uncertain terms the importance of automated external defibrillators and an emergency action plan,” said ACC’s Chief Medical Officer Richard Kovacs, MD, MACC. “The Access to AEDs Act is critical legislation that will help elementary and secondary schools save lives by helping communities purchase and maintain AEDs, provide CPR and AED training and develop cardiac emergency response plans like the one used by the NFL to save Hamlin’s life. Importantly, the legislation also includes ways to assist school athletic departments in developing heart screening programs for student athletes that are consistent with ACC/AHA guidelines. We look forward to our continued work with Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick to advance and pass this important legislation that will undoubtedly save lives in community across the United States.”

Your ACC has long supported policies to address sudden cardiac arrest on both the national and state level, including CPR training as a high school graduation requirement, investment in AEDs, and cardiac arrest awareness education for coaches, trainers and volunteers. Learn more about the Access to AEDs Act here, and view additional ACC resources on sudden cardiac arrest here.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Policy, Volunteers, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Athletes, Students, Sports, Heart Arrest, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Schools, Defibrillators, ACC Advocacy

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