DeCroce bill to protect young athletes from sudden death advances

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (File Photo)

PARSIPPANY — Automated external defibrillators will be required at all college athletic facilities under Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce’s legislation advanced today by the Higher Education Committee.

“Defibrillators save lives,” said DeCroce. “If a person suffers a sudden cardiac attack the chance of survival increases exponentially when an automated shock is administered. Automatic defibrillators are easy for any untrained bystander to use. By following the simple instructions, they can save a life.”

Sudden cardiac attacks are rare in young athletes, but they are often fatal. When an automatic defibrillator is used, the survival rate for student athletes is 64 percent, and as high as 90 percent when aid is rendered within the first minute.

DeCroce’s bill (A1368) requires two staff members trained in CPR and the use of automatic defibrillators in athletic facilities or student centers during operating hours.

“A college student who survives a brush with death due to a previously undiagnosed heart problem can go on to live a long, productive life with the appropriate medical care,” said DeCroce. “A defibrillator on the wall in a college gym can be the key to the future for any of the young people competing on the floor, or watching in the stands.”

For every minute that passes without defibrillation after a sudden cardiac attack, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.

State law requires automatic defibrillators at state buildings and K-12 schools, health clubs, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

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