TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale that requires schools to have automated external defibrillators (AED) available during school hours and at school-sponsored athletic events was signed into law. The law is an attempt to reduce the number of students and 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.
“There are as many as 7,000 children who die in the U.S. each year from sudden cardiac arrest – many who could have been saved if an automated external defibrillator were available in their time of need,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “Since early defibrillation of a child going through sudden cardiac arrest is the most critical step in saving their life, it is vital that we have these devices on hand when they are most needed – during school hours and at sporting practices and events. This law will save New Jersey children’s lives.” = =