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Saving Our Kids from Cardiac Tragedy

Legislation is advancing in Trenton that’s designed to monitor and prevent childhood cardiac tragedies.

Cardiac Arrest
Flickr User David Bruce Jr.

The measure, dubbed the “Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Reporting Act,” stipulates that a health care professional (a physician or registered professional nurse licensed in New Jersey) who makes the diagnosis of a sudden cardiac event in a child 12 to 19 years of age, or who makes the actual determination and pronouncement of death for a child, must report the sudden cardiac event to the New Jersey Department of Health.

The bill also calls for the creation of an 11-member Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Review Board, within the DOH, to evaluate the information reported, and to study any other relevant data.

“Too many children have been taken from us far too soon because of sudden and undetected cardiac conditions, and by providing schools and communities throughout New Jersey with this information, we can help improve the survival rates of children who experience sudden cardiac events,” according to one of the prime sponsors of the legislation, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan.

Co-sponsor Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt said, “Sudden cardiac arrest is far more common in children than one might think and we’ve seen our fair share of tragedies in New Jersey in recent years – the collection and documentation of this data is essential for policymakers and health care professionals to determine the most effective way to allocate personnel, training, equipment, and resources to save the greatest number of lives.”

The measure now awaits further consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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