|Posted:||November 23, 2015 04:21 PM|
|From:||Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr.|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Allow for Electrocardiogram (EKG) Testing for High School Sports|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will allow for electrocardiogram screenings (EKGs) as part of the pre-participation requirements for student athletes in Pennsylvania high schools.
Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death among school-age athletes. Further, student athletes are 4 1/2 times more likely to die from sudden cardiac death than students not participating in competitive sports. Though student athletes in required to receive a physical in order to participate in sports activities, the typical physical does not sufficiently detect the underlying cardiac abnormalities that can lead to sudden cardiac death. An ECG provides for greater detection of cardiovascular diseases that predispose athletes to sudden cardiac death.
This bill is identical to legislation the State of Texas has introduced. Texas legislator Scott Stephens, the father of the late Cody Stephens, who died in 2012 of sudden cardiac arrest.
This bill would save the lives of student athletes who are currently in danger of sudden cardiac death because they have an un-diagnosed condition. These deaths are preventable and the results of this medical testing will inform parents if their child is at risk.
The legislation does not require parents to take any medical action in response to an EKG. Regardless of the information the EKG provides, any medical decisions regarding the student athlete remain at the parent’s discretion.
Earlier this year, 15-year-old Ryan Gillyard of Upper Darby died of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes thickening of the heart muscle. Ryan played for St. Joseph's Prep school in Philadelphia.
St. Joseph's Prep officials said the freshman collapsed shortly after warm-ups April 18 at the school's practice field. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Not every death is preventable, but testing such as EKGs may save lives like Ryan's.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as SB1093